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January 13, 2003

Amendment 13 Catch Projections

The MFP graphs below display catch rates or the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) as projected for certain important species in the draft Amendment 13 document based on the Groundfish Assessment Review Meeting (GARM) report. The GARM advice is for fishing effort generally to be cut by 50% and kept low over the next seven years. The bizarre result would be the sudden jump by as much as three to four fold in the catch rates between 2009 and 2010.

It makes no business sense to grow a stock at such a high price only to end up with so much available fish that the business cannot handle the volume in 2010. The New England Fishery Management Council estimates that up to 90% of fishing vessels will go out of business if the GARM reportís fishing rates and rebuilding schedules are implemented. While NOAA Fisheries stock assessments continue to show rapid growth in stock abundance for most species even in the face of research vessel trawl warp errors, fisheries management should allow for the gradual increase in harvesting rates over a longer period of time until the stocks are fully rebuilt.

The NOAA Fisheries projections in the MFP graphs raise more questions about the science underpinning the recommendations. Given continuing dramatic recoveries in fish abun dan ce, is it necessary to put most of the New England fishing industry out of business in order to fully rebuild fish stocks sooner?

 All the data for the graphs is taken directly from Tables 15, 16 and 17 in the NEFMC Draft Amendment 13 document. 

Gulf of Maine Cod

Georges Bank Cod

Cape Cod Yellowtail

Georges Bank Yellowtail


Georges Bank Haddock



Gulf of Maine Haddock

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