Fisheries managers to weigh new groundfish rules

Posted June 23, 2009, at 9:24 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:05 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The New England Fisheries Management Council has begun a four-day meeting in Portland that may bring a new approach to groundfishing rules.

The council is slated to vote on a plan to allocate shares of the annual groundfish catch to groups of fishermen, or sectors. Fishermen who join a sector would no longer be limited to a diminishing number of fishing days each year, but could face shutdowns if their sector exceeds its catch limit.

The Portland Press Herald said the council is discussing other issues Tuesday but plans to turn its attention to the proposed changes, known as Amendment 16, on Wednesday.

Regulators, conservationists and some fishermen favor the new approach as a way to rebuild stocks and sustain the industry, but some fishermen prefer individual fishing quotas.