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Old 03-04-2012, 02:54 PM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Perkins Cove, Maine
Posts: 1,566
Exclamation If you care about herring management, please read this! Hearings!!

Back in 2007, a lot of pressure was put on the NEFMC to start an amendment to address the lack of monitoring in the herring fishery. This was primarily due to the lack of observer coverage on the big midwater trawlers. Over the last 4 years, a TON of work has gone into what is known as Herring Amendment 5. While observer coverage is probably the biggest issue, the amendment is attempting to address some other big issues, as well. This includes putting rules on the big boats that will reduce dumping of catch (they are allowed to dump whenever they want currently), requiring that catch actually be weighed (it is currently estimated by the captains and dealers), addressing whether or not these boats should be allowed into the groundfish closed areas (they are given full access now) and there are also measures to address the bycatch of river herring.

After years of work, the process is now coming to a head. It is absolutely critical that people show up at these hearings and speak their mind. The NEFMC needs to hear from everyone that is time they started managing the big herring boats adequately. I do not need to tell you all how problematic these boats are, but I cannot stress enough how important it is for you all to show up at the hearings. Without people showing up, we may get nothing out of this process. Listed below is the hearing schedule. As you will see there are a bunch of them and they are spread out so that it should be easy for everyone to get to a hearing or two.

To find out more at this point is to go the NEFMC herring page and check out either the Draft Amendment or the shorter Public hearing document. Right now the focus is getting people to these hearings, but we will also eventually need to get written comments in, too, so stay tuned on that, as I will post up some sample comments soon. The Council herring page is:

But the big thing right now is for all of you to check out the schedule and to put one or two of these things on your calendar. Again, this is the culmination of a lot of hard work over a bunch of years and it is imperative that people go to these hearings. I hear all the time on here (and elsewhere) how much people worry about the impact of these big herring boats and so now is the time to chip and help make sure some solid rules are put in place. We think that the big Category A and B boats should have 100% coverage, that rules should be put on them to make them sample their catch before dumping it, that the catch to be weighed, and that midwater trawl access to the groundfish closed areas be rescinded. Given the nature of the big herring boats, these rules should already be in place now. Hopefully the NEFMC will do the right thing. But if we do not all show up, they may not.

So check the schedule and put the meetings on your calendars and stay tuned for more info! The first hearing happened on Friday at the Maine Fishermen's Forum and we had a great turnout. But we need an even better turnout at these meetings!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Gloucester, MA
7:00 – 9:00 pm
MA DMF Annisquam River Station
30 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930
Phone: (978) 282-0308

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Portsmouth, NH
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Sheraton Harborside Hotel
250 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Phone: (603) 431-2300

Monday, March 19, 2012
Fairhaven, MA
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Seaport Inn
110 Middle Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719
Phone: (508) 997-1281

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Portland, Maine
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Holiday Inn By the Bay
88 Spring Street, Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 775-2311

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Plymouth, Massachusetts
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor
180 Water Street, Plymouth MA 02360
Phone: (508) 747-4900

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Warwick, RI
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Hilton Garden Inn
One Thurber Street, Warwick, RI 02886
Phone: (401) 734-9600

Thursday, March 29, 2012
Cape May, New Jersey
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Congress Hall Hotel
251 Beach Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204
Phone: (609) 884-8421
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:16 PM
Bob Parsons's Avatar
Bob Parsons Bob Parsons is offline
Join Date: Mar 1996
Location: Barnstable
Posts: 7,492
We'll keep this one at the top of the pile for awhile so people can see the dates.
If at first you do not succeed-sky diving is not the sport for you.

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Old 03-06-2012, 12:15 AM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Perkins Cove, Maine
Posts: 1,566
Thanks Bob. These hearings are really important. Even if people are not looking to talk, just being there in the room will help. This is our one chance to do something about the midwater/pair trawl problem. Worried that there have been only 48 views so far.

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Old 03-26-2012, 07:20 PM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Perkins Cove, Maine
Posts: 1,566

Reminder that tomorrow - Tuesday - night there is a hearing for the herring Amendment in Plymouth at 7pm. Hearing is a the Radisson Plymouth Harbor on Water Street. If you live near Plymouth, please show up!

More info for those who want it:
Follow that Dart!
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