Groundfish fishery to receive reimbursement for at-sea monitoring costs in 2017
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has granted the groundfish fishery in the U.S. greater Atlantic region a 60 percent reimbursement rate for costs associated with its at-sea monitoring program.
All groundfish vessels involved in the fishery are required to be equipped with a fisheries observer or an at-sea monitor for at least a part of their voyages, with the observers provided and paid for by the Federal government as a part of the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM) program and the at-sea monitors partially paid for by the industry in relation to the region’s at-sea monitoring program.
As of 2016, the industry began paying its share of at-sea monitoring costs, with NOAA Fisheries reimbursing 85 percent of those expenses for July 2016 to April 2017. “We used these funds to offset a portion of industry's costs of the groundfish ASM program through a grant administered by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC),” explained NOAA Fisheries in a release. “For fishing year 2017, there are remaining funds in the grant, and therefore we will continue the reimbursement program.”
The organization estimates that 60 percent of at-sea monitoring costs can be reimbursed for the 2017 fishing year. Vessels the depart on or after 1 May are eligible for the reimbursement.
“We are committed to providing as much stability to sectors as possible, so we have based our reimbursement rate on one that we anticipate will be consistent through the entire fishing year,” said NOAA.