At stake is a possible early shutdown, even after this year's harvest quota was cut to a third of last years.
There is massive debate on the waterfront questioning the assessment practices used by the team responsible for determining the size and trends of the Northern shrimp biomass
At the meeting today, Dr. Michael Sissenwine, Visiting Scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a preeminent fisheries scientist, will present arguments supporting the ASPIC model as more scientifically defensible, and should be factored in the decision to reconsider this year's harvest quota.
In November, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commissionís Northern Shrimp Section slashed the 2012 fishing quota by 70% compared to the 2011 catch based on the pessimistic estimates from one of two computer models used to estimate the health of the resource. The Collie-Sissenwine Analysis (CSA) model estimates the stocks have declined to 6,500 metric tons while the ASPIC model estimates the stocks have increased to 35,000 metric tons. The NSTC traditionally has used both models to formulate their recommendation but this year ignored the more optimistic ASPIC.
The above quote was copied from a website that appeared Saturday, SaveOurShrimp.org, to educate the public about the controversy, and includes news reports and (excellent!) video from local news networks covering the shrimp industry on the Maine Coast (choose "News" link @top of page). They are asking the public to sign a petition urging regulators to use best science available, not politics.
Currently, shrimpers are restricted to Monday, Wednesday and Friday fishing, regardless of weather, and nets have to out of the water by 3pm.
Edited by johnnyd, 19 January 2012 - 11:17 AM.