2016-2018 Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish Fisheries Management Proposals

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NOAA Fisheries is requesting comments on proposed 2016-18 specifications and management measures for the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish fisheries.

NOAA is proposing to decrease the Atlantic mackerel quota by 56 percent to 9,177 mt, citing low catches since 2011and a lack of up to date stock assessment for the species.

Lacking a new stock assessment, the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee decided to base the 2016-2018 Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) on 50% of the long-term median catch.

To keep the catch cap on river herring and shad in the mackerel fishery proportional with the quota, NOAA is proposing to reduce it from 89 mt to 82 mt.

This action also proposes to require longfin squid and butterfish moratorium permit holders to use 3-inch mesh when possessing more than 5,000 lbs, up from 2,500 lbs, and to clarify that 5-inch (square or diamond) or greater strengtheners may be used outside the 3-inch mesh to avoid breaking nets during large hauls.

The agency also proposes to suspend the Pre-Trip Notification System (PTNS) requirement for longfin squid and butterfish moratorium permit holders.

NOAA fisheries is accepting comments through February 22.

For more information, visit: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov

Source: NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region