NMFS grants redfish exemption but industry calls program ‘unworkable’

 GLOUCESTER, MA – The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has approved an exemption allowing groundfish sector fishermen to use 4-1/2″ mesh to target redfish under 100% observer coverage for the remainder of the 2012 fishing year, which ends April 30.

Whether anyone will be able to take advantage of the program, however, remains to be seen.

And, many interested fishermen say that, come the May 1 start of the 2013 fishing year, small-mesh redfish fishing will be totally unfeasible if NMFS requires fishermen to pay all observer costs on their own – with no federal assistance – as currently is being proposed.

   Jeffery Eitzmann, A.I.S. Inc. photo

F/V Olympia crewmen work with a codend full of redfish during a 2011 trip that was part of the REDNET cooperative research project.

Read the rest and much, much more in the April issue of Commercial Fisheries News. Read online immediately and download for future reference.