The National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) today submitted a proposed rule to regulate fishing for groundfish — like cod, haddock and flounder — for the 2009-2010 fishing year.
This rule, issued under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), implements measures intended to immediately reduce overfishing of groundfish in New England and to continue to rebuild overfished populations of groundfish until the New England Fishery Management Council completes work on a permanent set of rules scheduled to begin in 2010.
The following is a statement from Earthjustice attorney Roger Fleming:
“This interim rule relies on the same broken system that has resulted in the severely depleted condition of most of New England’s groundfish stocks.
“This approach would not comply with the new provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act that Congress recently required beginning in 2010; an approach that calls for scientifically-based catch limits and accountability measures that ensure overfishing ends.
“We join our allies at the Pew Environment Group who are advocating for a new approach to fisheries management that will comply with the law, and do a better job of conserving fish and ensuring viable fishing businesses.”