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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

By Nmfs Nero To Mafmc, Nmfs Nero To Nefmc, Richard B. Robins, National Marine and Fisheries Service


Dear Rick: We have reviewed the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Amendment 14 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish (MSB) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and have evaluated the potential effectiveness and feasibility of alternatives under consideration. The Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) has spent a substantial amount of time developing this amendment, and there are many alternatives that offer clear improvements to the MSB FMP and can be implemented by the NOAA Fisheries Service. We support the consideration of the following alternatives in Amendment 14: • Expanding the requirement for weekly vessel trip reports (VTRs) to all MSB permits (Alternative lc), consistent with reporting requirements for other Northeast Region permits; • Expanding vessel requirements related to at-sea sampling (Alternatives 3b and 3c) to help ensure safe sampling and improve data quality; • Establishing a river herring catch cap (Alternative 6b) to directly control river herring fishing mortality; • Requiring 48-hour pre-trip notifications for directed mackerel trips (Alternative Id48) and vessel monitoring systems (VMS) (Alternative leMack) to help facilitate monitoring and compliance for a river herring catch cap; • Requiring daily VMS catch reports (Alternative 1fMack), which are currently required for the Atlantic herring fishery, should the New England Fishery Management Council choose to implement a companion river herring catch cap for the Atlantic herring fishery; • Allowing the joint Sustainable Fisheries CoalitionlUniversity of Massachusetts School fo

Year: 2012
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