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Final 2018 Quotas for Small-Mesh Multispecies

June 13, 2018

NOAA Fisheries announces the final 2018 and the projected 2019-2010 total allowable landings for all four small-mesh stocks (northern red hake, northern silver hake, southern red hake, and southern whiting) managed by the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan.

Southern whiting includes southern silver hake and offshore hake

The 2017 stock assessment update showed that the northern stocks are increasing in size and that the risk of overfishing is relatively low. Thus, the total allowable landings for the northern stocks are increasing to take better advantage of this resource.

The southern stocks were both found to be in decline, so the catch limits for southern red hake and southern whiting are decreasing to address this decline. The New England Fishery Management Council will implement a rebuilding plan for southern red hake within the next two years, since it is now considered overfished and overfishing is occurring.

All other management measures in the small-mesh multispecies fishery (such as possession limits) will remain unchanged. This action does make a minor correction to the possession limit language in the regulations. In a previous action, which lowered the red hake possession limit to 3,000 lb per trip in the northern area, we failed to specify that the possession limit in the southern area for red hake remained at 5,000 lb per trip. This current action clarifies the possession limits more specifically but does not make any changes to the possession limits.

For more details, please read the rule as filed in the Federal Register, and our permit holder bulletin.

Questions? Contact Cynthia Hanson at 978-281-9180