September 14, 2000
Dear Captain Howard:
The Massachusetts Fishermen's Partnership (MFP) requests that the Council
create a new habitat sub-committee to study non-fishing impacts. This
sub-committee would be charge with a review of the extensive literature
available on the effects on fish reproduction from non-fishing impacts on
habitat and to help the Habitat Committee identify research that is needed to
better understand these non-fishing impacts.
The MFP is aware of recent international meetings of scientist studying
non-fishing impacts on marine habitats and fish reproductions. For example, a
consensus report from a meeting of Canadian and NOAA scientists, Georges Bank
and TRAC Advisory Report on Stock Status, July 2000 makes the following
statement about Georges Bank cod on page 9:
"Although at a low biomass the stock is not overfished and overfishing
is not occurring according to the SFA harvest control rule"...nevertheless,
"the sizes of recruiting year classes have all been well below average."
Clearly there is something happening that fishermen and fishery managers
need to understand in order to make sound management decisions. The MFP
strongly recommends that a sub-committee be created and staffed to study this
Thank you for your consideration.
Alexander Ferent, President
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