Herring FW 4 calls for third-party catch verification; empty fish holds

MYSTIC, CT – In addition to the 15-nautical-mile move-along measure for slippage events, Framework Adjustment 4 to the federal herring plan contains two other provisions that may place more conditions on the herring fishery in general if approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The framework was developed by the New England Fishery Management Council, which signed off on the document during the council’s April 22-24 meeting here.

The council started off by considering proposals to require vessel operators to validate dealer-reported catch information through Fish-on-Line on a weekly basis and require that vessel trip reports and dealer reports be submitted to NMFS within 24 hours of a trip or transaction.

Both proposals, however, were dismissed after NMFS Regional Administrator John Bullard said they no longer were necessary.

Even though NMFS initially had recommended these actions – and the council spent a considerable amount of time working on the proposals – Bullard said the service’s analysis and program support division had made “technical improvements in how it identifies and sorts out landing information.”

Therefore, he said, the council’s first proposal related to catch verification “duplicates the work that we now do.”

As for submitting reports within 24 hours, Bullard explained, “We only sum them up every week, so it just makes people do more work.  It doesn’t get to better information, so that’s a burden without a benefit.”


CFN-6_14coverRead the rest and much, much more in the June issue of Commercial Fisheries News.

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