CHOIR: Coalition for the Atlantic Herring Fishery's Orderly, Informed, and Responsible Long-Term Development


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May 17 Herring Committee Meeting summary

June 01, 2010

CHOIR Update

Here is a quick summary of the NEFMC Herring Committee meeting that took place on May 17th in Portsmouth.

This meeting was primarily devoted to the discussion of the river herring bycatch portion of Amendment 5. As you know, one of the priorities set by the Council for the amendment was river herring, and while there had been some discussion of this issue in the previous year this was the first meeting dedicated to the topic.

During the meeting, there were a number of presentations given regarding bycatch data as well as some ongoing projects. Instead of trying to rehash these, I suggest that anyone interested go to the Council website and check them out. You can find them by going to the following link, and then scrolling down and clicking on “May 17, 2010 Oversight Committee Discussion Documents”. Link to Council’s Herring Page

In addition to the river herring documents that can be found there, you can also find a couple other documents that were presented at the meeting regarding catch and bycatch data.

After the presentations, there was some good discussion by the Committee on what to do about river herring bycatch in the herring fishery. There were some ideas thrown around, one of which was the potential application of a Closed Area 1-type rule for river herring, which was brought up by David Pierce. Another idea was the use of “move along” rules, which was first mentioned in a project being done by SMAST and parts of the industry (which can be found at the link above). While these discussions were general in nature, they did end up voting on two motions, as seen below.

To task the PDT with further review of river herring and shad observer data to identify gear-specific times and areas where Closed Area I bycatch regulations may be applied. Emphasis should be on identification of bycatch seasonal hotspots



That the PDT further develop the move along concept to reduce river herring and shad bycatch similar to the approach to be undertaken by the Sustainable Fisheries Coalition bycatch avoidance proposal as one alternative to consider in Amendment 5


There is a lot of work ahead for the Committee but people were pleased to see them moving forward on this issue by asking for further analysis of these idea. Will keep you posted when this analysis comes out.

Up next is the 2 day Committee meeting at the end of July, when they will resume work on the catch monitoring alternatives in the amendment. These will be important meetings and we would encourage people to attend. W will send out more info on these meetings laster this month.


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