SMAST is expanding the Yellowtail Bycatch Avoidance Program in fishing year 2013 to include open area fishing grounds on Georges Bank and in Southern New England. We have created two new reporting grids to cover the Northern Open Area and Southern Open Area of Georges Bank and a portion of the Great South Channel.
The Georges Bank yellowtail flounder allocation to the scallop fishery was reduced by nearly 50% in 2013 to 86 metric tons (~187,000 pounds). Exceeding the Annual Catch Limits can result in costly time/area closures of prime scallop fishing grounds.
The program uses near real-time communications with fishing vessels to determine the location of bycatch hotspots to assist scallopers harvest their target scallop allocation without triggering bycatch closures.
The program was started with the collaboration of the scallop fleet and currently there are 243 participants using the hotspot information to avoid yellowtail bycatch.
Yellowtail Flounder Bycatch Update: Latest Bycatch Update
The 2013 SMAST Yellowtail Bycatch Avoidance Program will begin on March 1, 2013.
All information to participate can be found in the links below:
For more information or to sign up to participate, contact:
The incidental catch of river herring by vessels targeting Atlantic herring and mackerel has become a concern for their conservation. Though the direct effect of this bycatch on river herring populations is unknown, reduction of river herring bycatch has become a focus of fisheries managers.
This collaborative project between mid-water trawl fishermen , Rhode Island bottom trawl fishermen, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and SMAST seeks to reduce river herring and shad bycatch without any changes to the current management or enforcement policies; aiding in the effort to rebuild river herring and shad populations without the cost of management action to fishermen.
The project involves increasing portside sampling , a near real-time information system on the location bycatch events, and testing if oceangraphic features can be used to indicate areas with a high probability of bycatch.
Bottom Trawl - Winter 2014 Last Update: 2/28/14
Midwater Trawl - Winter 2014 Last Update: 2/28/14
Past Avoidance System Results
For more information, contact: