Sea Scallop Industry at Odds With NOAA on "Essential Fish Habitat" Closures
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Standard-Times] By Steve Urbon - April 21, 2015
NEW BEDFORD, The scallop industry is on high alert over next week's meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council after a long warning letter was sent to the council by NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator John Bullard.
At issue is the revamping of decade-old fishing restrictions aimed at preserving "essential fish habitat," an effort that began a decade ago and has been monitored since.
The council's Habitat Committee has issued recommendations that fishing restrictions be lifted on several areas of Georges Bank, the Gulf of Maine and the South Channel. That would please the scallop fishing fleet, which eyes many of those sites as having an abundance of scallops.
NOAA believes that the relaxing of the restrictions would set back the effort to nurse fish stocks back to health...
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