NOAA Releases Draft Catch Sharing Policy

NOAA released the draft catch sharing policy and are accepting comments through April 10, 2010. 

View draft policy at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/domes_fish/catchshare/docs/draft_noaa_cs_policy.pdf

NOAA released today for public comment a draft national policy encouraging the use of catch shares, a fishery management tool that aims to end overfishing and rebuild and sustain fishing jobs and fishing communities.  In doing so, NOAA recognized that catch shares are not a panacea or one size-fits-all solution, but are a proven way to promote sustainable fishing when designed properly at the fishing community level.  “We have made great progress in rebuiling many fisheries, but more than 20 percent of  our fish stocks have not been rebuilt, and an even larger protion of our fisheries are not meeting their full economic potentional for the nation,” Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke said.  “Catch shares are a tool that can help us realize the full economic and biological benefits of rebuilt fisheries.” 

Catch share programs, which include Limited Access Privilege programs and individual fishing quotas, have been used in the U.S. since 1990 and are now used in 13 different commercial fisheries.  Four new programs will begin over the next year. 

“From Florida to Alaska, catch share program help fishing communities provide good jobs while rebuilding and sustaining healthy fisheries and ocean ecosystems,” said Dr. Jane Lubchenco, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.  “Although this is a national policy, our emphasis is on local consideration and design of catch shares that take into consideration commercial and recreational fishing interests.”

The full press release can be viewed here: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/docs/catchshare_policy_dec09.pdf

Additional information about the catch sharing policy can be viewed at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/domes_fish/catchshare/

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