Statement of Sally McGee, EDF New England Fisheries Policy Director and NEFMC member, on Today's Council Actions

Sally McGee, EDF New England Fisheries Policy Director

Sally McGee, EDF New England Fisheries Policy Director

Today, Sally McGee, EDF's New England Fisheries Policy Director released the following statement on today's NE Council actions.

"I am pleased to support recommendations today for modifications to the skate and the red crab fisheries which will increase flexibility and likely lead to increased profitability for many New England fishermen.

"Consistent with New England Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) recommendations, the Council has recommended that the National Marine Fisheries Service should increase the skate wing possession limit from 1900 to 5000 pounds.  This will help reduce discards and add a revenue stream for some groundfishermen while maintaining a sustainable catch level.  The SSC has also identified and prioritized skate for research and assessment of age, growth, maturity, discards and bycatch over the next several years so we will continually better our understanding of these important species.

"Also, the new red crab analysis by the SSC provided an opportunity to increase the Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) to more accurately reflect the state of the fishery.  Consistent with the best science available, I was glad to join a unanimous vote in favor of increasing the ABC to 1775 metric tons for fishing year 2010.  It is very encouraging that this new analysis, provided by the Council’s scientific advisors, shows us that increasing the ABC for this stock will allow fishermen to catch more crab while maintaining the long term sustainability of this fishery. 

"The skate and red crab management measures before the Council today are precisely the kind of actions that the NEFMC should take to support New England fishermen and fisheries."

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