New plan for Northeast US groundfish


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
June 19, 2014

A New England harbor development commission has released a new plan for revitalizing the groundfish fishery in the Northeastern United States.

The New Bedford Harbor Development Commission, in New Bedford, Mass., said the wide-ranging plan includes new grant applications for high-tech plans, along with recommendations for the nation’s Magnusson-Stevens Act, which governs fisheries management in America.

“In the nineteenth century, New Bedford became the center of American whaling and today it remains one of the most important ports in the world,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “New Bedford is the nation’s number one fishing port, and we intend to keep it that way for the next hundred years. We’re the best, and we’re going to stay the best. To do that, we need the best science in stock surveys and assessments—that is critical for both scallops and groundfish.”

The plan includes new grant applications to develop a video survey system for groundfish, building on a similar system that helped revive the scallop industry in the Northeast.

The plan also describes proposed updates to the federal law, which Congress is in the process of reauthorizing. The updates include new standards based on modern science, along with changes in the way fisheries are managed.

"Groundfish have supported generations of Massachusetts families,” said State Senator Montigny, D-New Bedford. “This study outlines what can be done — right now — to revitalize the fishery. Poorly-implemented federal regulations have failed to protect our ecosystems but succeeded in crippling our fishing fleet.”

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