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Avoiding bycatch in U.S. Sea Scallop closed areas fisheries Public Deposited

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  • Since 1999, the scallop fisheries have been granted access to closed areas on Georges Bank, and the access programs have been managed through individual vessel quotas for scallops, and a common-pool total allowable catch (TAC) for yellowtail flounder bycatch. The scallop resource is neither overfished and nor is overfishing occurring, but the yellowtail flounder resource is both overfished and experiencing overfishing according to criteria of U.S. fishery regulations. The yellowtail flounder bycatch TAC has forced early closure of these fisheries in more than half of these access fisheries. We present two programs designed in cooperation with fishermen and permit holders to avoid yellowtail flounder bycatch in these access fisheries, one in Closed Area II (CAII) in 2009 and the other in the Nantucket Lightship Area (NLA) in 2010. For both programs, we mapped the areas of scallop and yellowtail flounder densities and sent the density maps to permit owners and captains. In the second program, we implemented a daily system of captains transmitting daily yellowtail flounder catch and number of tows by area, analyzing the data, and sending messages to captains indicating low, medium, and high scallop densities per pound of yellowtail flounder by area. The 2009 CAII fishery closed three weeks after opening yielding only 61% of the scallop TAC. About 1/3 of vessels participated in the 2010 NLA voluntary reporting program. Observer data indicates that the scallop TAC will be caught for the first time in any closed area access fishery for the first time in the 2010 NLA fishery.
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  • O’Keefe, Cate, Greg DeCelles, Steven X. Cadrin and Dan Georgianna. 2010. Avoiding bycatch in U.S. Sea Scallop closed areas fisheries. 11 pages. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 13-16, 2010, Montpellier, France: Economics of Fish Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems: Balancing Uses, Balancing Costs. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2010.
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  • US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Division, Agence Française de Développement, Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, Ministère de L’Alimentation de L’Agriculture et de la Pêche, Ministère de l’Énergie, du Développement Durable et de la Mer, La Région Languedoc Rouslilon, Département Hérault, Montpellier Agglomèration, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, and AquaFish Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP).
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