NMFS report details millions of wasted fish
More than half of fishing fleets are not collecting information about bycatch. Photo: NOAA
NMFS has issued a report this week detailing the catch and bycatch of fisheries in the Northeast of the US from July 2010 to June 2011 - during this period approximately 156 million pounds of fish were wasted.
The The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) findings showed that from North Carolina to Maine, a significant amount of fish were discarded, likely dead or dying – some trawl fisheries were found to dispose of more than half of their catch. The report follows the New England Fishery Management Council’s fight against major reductions in catch limits for the 2013 year fishing based on a new stock assessment for groundfish fishery for cod, haddock and flounder, due to missing or inaccurate data.
Gib Brogan, Northeast representative, Oceana, said: “156 million pounds of bycatch in the Northeast equals jobs lost and meals wasted. What is bycatch to one fishery is often targeted catch to another. Take skates for example, which are a common bycatch species in the lucrative scallop fishery. Nearly 75 percent of the 101 million pounds of skates that were caught were discarded while New England skate fishermen struggle to increase their quotas.”
Oceana continues to promote bycatch restrictions in US fisheries in order to help managers set up catch limits for both targeted and non-targeted species, using the US scallop fishery and Alaskan pollock fishery as successfully controlled models.
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