Oceana Sues NMFS Over 25,000-mt West Coast Anchovy Limit
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - December 2, 2016
Continuing its crusade against fishing for forage fish species, the environmental group Oceana filed a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service challenging the agency's approval of a 25,000-metric ton annual catch limit for anchovy in 2017.
NMFS finalized the rule in October. It established the ACL for the central subpopulation of northern anchovy, a species that stretches along the west coasts of the U.S. and Mexico.
Oceana said in its complaint, filed Nov. 23 in U.S. District Court, the ACL threatens the viability of the northern anchovy population and the predators that depend on them. The group filed the suit less than a week after the Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting ended, during which time the Council directed its advisory bodies to develop approaches for an integrated stock assessment and alternative approaches to anchovy management.
The central subpopulation of northern anchovy is an important option for California fishermen when sardine fishing is allowed at only low levels or closed, as in 2015. It's also an important part of California's historic wetfish industry, even though a reduction fishery is no longer the target, California Wetfish Producers Association Executive Director Diane Pleschner-Steele said.
The problem is science: most current state and federal studies are based on sardine characteristics, not anchovy, ...
Full Story »