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March Herring Committee meeting summary

April 22, 2010

Hello everyone,

As you know, the NEFMC Herring Committee met on the 30th and 31st of March to discuss Herring Amendment 5, specifically the Catch Monitoring alternatives. Sorry for the delayed update but I wanted to wait until Lori put together the Committee’s draft motions so that I could include that instead of trying to cover it all in a summary. These draft motions can be found on the Council’s Herring page, found Here

This was a somewhat technical meeting with a lot of details involved and so I will not try and explain everything that happened but will try and cover a few main points. I would suggest looking at that list of motions to see the details of what transpired. It will also be helpful to look at the Draft Discussion document for Amendment 5, which includes the measures voted on at the meeting. This document can be found on the Council page, as well.

This was the first time in months that the Committee had addressed the catch monitoring alternatives and a lot had been done in the interim. The biggest change was the revision of the discussion document that had been done by Lori. The Committee had requested that she take the old document and do her best to simplify and reorganize. Before you had a document that was based on the monitoring proposals that had been submitted by the various stakeholder groups and so Lori moved things around in order to structure it based on ideas and not who submitted the proposals. This was a cause of concern for some because it meant that original ideas would possibly be split apart and thus made less effective. In the end, there were some issues caused by the reorganization but some of the more important ones were addressed by the committee. Some issues still need to be addressed and hopefully this will be dealt with at subsequent meetings.

The Committee essentially spent the bulk of the two days going through the revised document and determining whether they liked the changes and whether they thought anything should be removed. They did end up eliminating some parts of the document but most of the pieces were left intact. One notable elimination was regarding the measures to install a system similar to the one recently put in place in Closed Area 1. But again the Committee decided to leave most of the options in the document for now and sent some ideas to the PDT for further analysis.

The bottom line is that the Committee still has a lot of work ahead of it in developing the monitoring alternatives and so hopefully the Committee will bear down at future meetings and really have some good discussions on what to do. It appears that most of the Committee is serious about monitoring but there are varying ideas on what the end result will/should be. It is also clear that the issue of funding will be important in determining the outcome. There are a handful of Committee meetings on the horizon and these will be important so hopefully some of you will make it out.

Lastly, the Committee spent the last part of day 2 discussing the timing of the stock assessment. There was a small presentation from NEFSC staff during which they basically said they thought the later date (June 2012) would be better because it would include more information. There was limited Committee discussion and in the end they agreed with the NEFSC staff and voted to recommend that the stock assessment be done on the later date so that they can get an assessment with more information included.


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