Framework adjustment 50 to the northeast multispecies FMP : fishing year 2013 recreational management measures, secretarial emergency action to modify sector carryover and set fishing year 2013 catch limits for Georges Bank yellowtail flounder and white hake
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Framework adjustment 50 to the northeast multispecies FMP : fishing year 2013 recreational management measures, secretarial emergency action to modify sector carryover and set fishing year 2013 catch limits for Georges Bank yellowtail flounder and white hake
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  • Alternative Title:
    Northeast (NE) multispecies fishery management plan (FMP), framework adjustment 50 and associated rules
  • Description:
    "In New England, the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) is charged with developing management plans that meet the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (M-S Act). The Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) specifies the management measures for thirteen groundfish species (cod, haddock, yellowtail flounder, pollock, plaice, witch flounder, white hake, windowpane flounder, Atlantic halibut, winter flounder, redfish, Atlantic wolffish, and ocean pout) off the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts. The FMP has been updated through a series of amendments and framework adjustments. The most recent major amendment, published as Amendment 16, became effective on May 1, 2010. This amendment adopted a broad suite of management measures in order to achieve fishing mortality targets and meet other requirements of the M-S Act. Included in Amendment 16 was a process for setting specifications for the fishery and updating measures through framework actions. Framework 44 to the FMP set specifications for fishing years (FY) 2010-2012. It became effective concurrently with Amendment 16 on May 1, 2010. Framework 45 modified several management measures to improve administration of the fishery and revised several specifications; it was implemented May 1, 2011. Framework 46 was implemented September 14, 2011 and modified the provisions that restrict mid-water trawl catches of haddock. Framework Adjustment 47 was implemented May 1, 2012 and adjusted ACLs and other management measures. In 2011, the NEFMC also approved Amendment 17, which allowed for NOAA-sponsored state-operated permit banks to function within the structure of Amendment 16. Framework Adjustment 48 was approved by the Council on December 20, 2012, but has not yet been approved by NMFS. That action proposes revised status determination criteria for several stocks, modifies the sub-ACL system, adjusts monitoring measures for the groundfish fishery, and changes several accountability measures (AMs). Framework Adjustment 49 is a joint Northeast Multispecies/Atlantic Sea Scallop action that modifies the dates for scallop vessel access to the year-round groundfish closed areas; this action is in review and has not yet been approved. Amendment 16 made major changes to the FMP. For several groundfish stocks, the mortality targets adopted by Amendment 16, and the resulting specifications in Framework 44, represented substantial reductions from existing levels. For other stocks, the mortality targets were at or higher than existing levels and mortality could remain the same or even increase. Because most fishing trips in this fishery catch a wide range of species, it is impossible to design effort control measures that will change mortality in a completely selective manner for individual species. The management measures adopted by Amendment 16 to reduce mortality where necessary were also expected to reduce fishing mortality unnecessarily on other, healthy stocks. As a result of these lower fishing mortality rates, yield from healthy stocks could be sacrificed and the management plan may not provide optimum yield - the amount of fish that will provide the greatest overall benefit to the nation. Amendment 16 created opportunities to target these healthy stocks. The FMP allows vessels with groundfish permits to either fish under the days-at-sea (DAS) effort control system or to join sectors, which are small groups of self-selected fishermen that receive an allocation of annual catch entitlement (ACE) based upon the catch history of each member. The Amendment also adopted a system of Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) and Accountability Measures (AMs) that are designed to ensure catches remain below desired targets. This framework action would continue to improve management of the fishery. It incorporates the results of new stock assessments into the setting of specifications, including the catch limits for the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding and the distribution of ACLs to various components of the fishery. It also modifies the rebuilding strategy for SNE/MA winter flounder and changes the measures for that stock so that it can be landed, with appropriate AMs. The measures that are considered in this action were first considered as part of Framework Adjustment 48. During the final decision for FW 48, the Council removed the specifications (OFLs/ABCs/ACLs) and decided to submit them as a separate action. The Council also decided to modify the SNE/MA winter flounder rebuilding strategy. This action would implement those decisions. The need for this action is to set specifications for FY 2013 - 2015 that are consistent with the best available science and to modify the rebuilding program and associated management measures for SNE/MA winter flounder. There are several purposes: to adopt specifications, to adopt the U.S./Canada Total Allowable Catches (TACs), to modify the formal rebuilding program for SNE/MA winter flounder, and to modify the possession restrictions and AMs for that stock"--Executive Summary (pages 3-4).
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