Fisheries

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New Hampshire and New England have been firmly on the local and sustainable food bandwagon for years now, and although Granite Staters are also enthusiastic consumers of seafood, it hasn't been until recently that some in the state have tried to bring that local sensibility to the fish they eat.

New England Cod Fishermen are again facing stricter catch limits.

Last year, fisherman faced a 77 percent cut in how many cod they could catch, and now the New England Fisheries Management Council has voted to establish another 75 percent cut. Together the cuts reduce the catch limit for Gulf of Maine Cod from 6,700 metric tons in 2012 to 386 in 2015.

New Hampshire is receiving nearly $1 million in direct federal fishery disaster assistance to help an industry that's been suffering from declining fish populations and stringent federal regulations.

In all, the state will receive more than $2 million in funds. The rest of the money is still to be distributed and used at the state's discretion.

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A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA finds that Atlantic Cod cod stocks have reached the lowest level ever.

Russ Brown, with the NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, says after researchers observed declining cod stocks in 2011, counts during the last fishing season showed cod populations continue to slide. 

"All three of the bottom trawl surveys have all reached record low levels, and our estimate of spawning stock biomass coming out of the stock assessment has also reached record low levels," says Brown.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is meeting with fishermen to discuss the impact of a plan to distribute $32.8 million in federal fishery disaster funds across New England.

New Hampshire is getting more than $2 million in disaster relief with more than $900,000 going to direct assistance for New Hampshire fishermen, and more than $1.1 million being used at the state's discretion.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, or NOAA, announced Wednesday that New Hampshire’s groundfishery will receive more than $2 million in federal disaster funds.

Josh Wiersma, the head of New Hampshire’s groundfish coop, says local ground fishermen, who expected less direct aid, breathed a sigh of relief at the announcement.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36783643@N05/3611830167 / Flickr name: InAweofGod'sCreation

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, announced Wednesday morning that it will give $33 million in disaster relief funding to fishery communities in the Northeast.  

New Hampshire’s fisheries were declared a federal disaster in September of 2012. About a year later, Congress approved $75 million for fishery relief nationwide, with $33 million earmarked for New England and New York.

Josh Wiersma

 

The spiny dogfish is a conservation success story, going from worryingly low levels to incredible abundance. The new challenge is getting people to eat them.


On Monday, New Hampshire joined a lawsuit filed in May by Massachusetts to block new regulations on groundfishing. 

By “groundfish” we’re talking haddock, cod, and flounder, three fish that are essential to the region’s fishing industry.

In April, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce reduced catch limits for these species by 77 percent, not long after declaring the Northeast fisheries a federal disaster.

According to the Commerce Department, the New England Seacoast’s fish stocks were declining for reasons unknown.   

Ayotte Proposes To Ease Strict Fishing Limitations

Jul 23, 2013

During a Senate Commerce Subcommittee meeting on Tuesday Senator Kelly Ayotte recommended changes to the Mid-Atlantic Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and Conservation Act.

The conservation act dates back to 1976 and is meant to maintain stock and habitat at sustainable levels.

In recent years that’s meant strict catch limits for Atlantic Cod and Haddock.

And many senators agree that catch limits issued under the Act have worked.

New Hampshire fishermen say the federal government’s most recent fishery management policy continues to push them out of business.

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: I understand that many of the world’s fisheries are on the brink of collapse, “fished out,” to put it bluntly. How did this happen and what is being done about it? -- Mariel LaPlante, New Orleans, LA

The New England Fishery Management Council has approved drastic new cuts in cod fishing.

Derek Keats / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire fishermen who are hoping for federal disaster relief funds will have to wait a bit longer for those dollars. Money slated to go to the Northeastern ground-fishermen was caught up in the discussions surrounding the so-called fiscal cliff.