2012-2013 US Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Specifications
Fishermen happy about new skate ruleBy ‘ The Cape Codder ‘ , 30. April 2012
CAPE COD —Local fishermen are relieved that the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service increased the overall amount of skates that fishermen can land.
The Fisheries Service last Friday issued its final rule for the Northeast skate fishery regulations for the new fishing year, which starts May 1. The decision was based on recent scientific data showing that skate populations are on the rise.
The rule maintains the previous year’s trip limits (the amount of skates that can be landed on each fishing trip). Decreases had been proposed for these limits, which would have meant that fishermen would likely not have been able to harvest this year’s higher quota.
“NMFS certainly did the right thing,” said Chatham gillnetter Mike Woods, captain of the fishing vessel Jakob & Megan. “Lowering the daily trip limit made no sense. The increase in total catch will help us in the wintertime, and it will be a big bonus to not have the trip limit drop. It will keep us working and allow us to continue to grow in this fishery, and that is the important thing.”
Fishermen from the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association traveled to Washington, D.C. in March to meet with Congressional representatives about the potential decrease in trip limits. Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown and Congressman Bill Keating sent a letter to NMFS asking that it stick with last year’s trip limits.
“I’d like to thank senators Kerry and Brown and Representative Keating for their support,” said fisherman Tim Linnell, captain of Perry’s Pride II. “We went to speak with them in D.C. about skates, and they got how essential this fishery is for us and know that the science is on our side. This is a perfect example of how fishermen, NMFS and our elected officials can work together.”
“While this is great news, we still have other issues to deal with in this fishery,” said fisherman Jim Nash, captain of Ann Marie, who fishes for skates in addition to groundfish. “We want to stop having to wastefully throw barndoor skates overboard. But, this is a good first step. Any other result would have been devastating to our businesses.”
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; 2012-2013 Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Specifications
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 04/27/2012
This rule implements catch limits and associated measures for the Northeast skate complex fishery for the 2012-2013 fishing years. The action was developed by the New England Fishery Management Council pursuant to the provisions of the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan. The catch limits are supported by the best available scientific information and reflect recent increases in skate biomass.
This rule is effective May 1, 2012.
Source with all Supplementary Information (PDF): Federal Register /Vol. 77, No. 82