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October Council Herring discussion report

October 18, 2008

October Council Meeting Report: Herring

Amendment 4 Measures Refined Following Scoping Hearings

The Council approved the Herring Committee’s recommendations to carry over the same research priorities used for herring research in the two previous fishing years to fishing year 2010.

Council members moved on to tackle approval of management measures to be further considered in Amendment 4 to Herring Plan. The action, likely to take effect in early 2011, will focus on effective means of catch monitoring and reporting in the herring fishery and include annual catch limits and accountability measures. In addition, the Council also added consideration of measures to protect Southern New England (including Cape Cod) and Mid-Atlantic runs of river herring.

The Council also voted to eliminate any further consideration of quota allocations from Amendment 4. This will exclude sectors, limited access privilege programs and other forms of allocations to groups or individuals.

Specific management measures that did receive approval for further development in Amendment 4 include: a catch monitoring program for the herring fishery (monitoring and reporting requirements for herring vessels and processors, observer coverage and at-sea monitoring, shoreside monitoring and sampling, vessel monitoring system (VMS) requirements, industry-funded observer programs, applications for electronic monitoring, and/or other measures suggested during the scoping process), and management measures to address herring bycatch concerns in the Atlantic mackerel fishery.

As a follow up to the Council meeting, the New England Council has solicited ideas and recommendations from all stakeholders that could contribute to the development of a comprehensive catch monitoring program for the Atlantic herring fishery. Following the receipt of proposals, the Council’s Herring Committee, Advisory Panel and Plan Development Team will work to consider the recommendations or ideas for possible inclusion in the Amendment 4. The notice is posted on the Councilís website

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