By Laurie Schreiber
MYSTIC, Conn.—Over the past decade or more, the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) held more than 200 public hearings and received 170,000 public comments on the Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2, which is based on the premise that there are habitats, where fishing occurs, that allow for higher survival and/or growth rates of juvenile fish.
According to NEFMC, protection of these habitats is expected to increase productivity of managed species with life stages that rely on those habitats. Proposed protection measures include various levels of restrictions on fishing that is mainly done by mobile bottom-tending gear.
It’s expected the amendment could be implemented in late 2015, or early 2016.