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Northeast Bottom Trawl

Current Classification on the 2017 LOF

Category II
Estimated Number of Participants 2,238
Target Species Atlantic cod, haddock, pollock, yellowtail flounder, winter flounder, witch flounder, American plaice, Atlantic halibut, redfish, windowpane flounder, summer flounder, spiny dogfish, monkfish, silver hake, red hake, white hake, ocean pout, and skate species
Applicable Take Reduction Plans Atlantic Trawl Gear Take Reduction Team
Observer Coverage During the period 1994-2013, estimated percent observer coverage (measured in trips) was 0.4, 1.1, 0.2, 0.2, 0.1, 0.3, 1.0, 1.0, 3, 4, 5, 12, 6, 6, 8 , 9, 16, 26, 17 and 15 respectively. Observer coverage for 2010- 2013 includes both observers and at-sea monitors.
Marine Mammal Species/Stocks Killed or Injured Bottlenose dolphin, WNA offshore
Common dolphin, WNA
Gray seal, WNA
Harbor porpoise, GME/BF
Harbor seal, WNA
Harp seal, WNA
Long-finned pilot whale, WNA
Risso's dolphin, WNA
White-sided dolphin, WNA1

^ Number of participants estimates are based on state and federal fisheries permit data.  The estimated number of participants is expressed in terms of the number of active participants in the fishery, when possible.  If this information is not available, the estimated number of vessels or persons licensed for a particular fishery is provided.  If no recent information is available on the number of participants, then the number from the most recent LOF is used.  NMFS acknowledges that, in some cases, these estimations may be inflating actual effort.  

*Observer coverage levels include the latest information reported in the most current final Stock Assessment Report (SAR)

1Indicates the stock or species is driving the classification of the fishery 

Note: Current classification based on final LOF, no proposed changes are reflected in this table.

Basis for Current Classification

The total annual mortality and serious injury of white-sided dolphins (Western North Atlantic [WNA] stock) in this fishery is greater than 1% and less than 50% of the stock’s Potential Biological Removal (PBR) level.

Distribution

The fishery operates year-round, with a peak from May-July. The Northeast bottom trawl fishery includes all U.S. waters south of Cape Cod, MA that are east of 70° W and extending south to the intersection of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and 70° W (approximately 37° 54' N), as well as all U.S. waters north of Cape Cod to the Maine-Canada border.

Gear Description

This fishery uses bottom trawl gear.

Management

The fishery is primarily managed by TACs, individual trip limits (quotas), effort caps (limited number of days at sea per vessel), time and area closures, and gear restrictions under several interstate and federal FMPs.

Total Effort

Total effort, measured in trips, for the Northeast Bottom Trawl Fishery from 1998 to 2013 was 13,263, 10,795, 12,625, 12,384, 12,711, 11,577, 10,354, 10,803, 8,603, 8,950, 8,900, 6,791, 5,747, 8,219 and 6,440, respectively (NMFS).

 

Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) III (1996)
Original Number of Participants 1,052
Basis for Original Classification This fishery was categorized as a Category III based on 1989-1993 observer data. The annual mortality and serious injury was more than 50% of PBR for striped dolphins, coastal bottlenose dolphins, and pilot whales. This fishery would have been a Category I; however, because the observer coverage was low and the fishery was so diverse, NMFS could not extrapolate observed interactions over the entire fishery (i.e., the estimated mortality and serious injury levels were statistically weak). NMFS anticipated obtaining additional information from other observer programs that could show that future reclassification was warranted.
Past Names “North Atlantic bottom trawl fishery” until 2005.
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list) N/A

 

Timeline of Changes

2017
  • Removed minke whale (Canadian East coast).
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 3,132 to 2,238.
2016
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 2,987 to 3,132.
2013
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 2,584 to 2,987.
2012
  • Added bottlenose dolphin (WNA offshore stock) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured. From 2009- 2010, five bottlenose dolphins (WNA offshore stock) were killed in this fishery: One bottlenose dolphin was killed during a trip targeting groundfish in April 2009; three were killed on during a trip targeting Illex squid in August 2009; and one was killed in a bottom otter trawl targeting Loligo squid in March 2010. The most recent total mean estimated annual fishery-related mortality for this stock was unknown (2010 SAR), but these 5 mortalities in one year represented less than 1 percent of the stock’s PBR of 566. Further, corrected an error in the 2011 LOF where the three August 2009 takes were incorrectly attributed to the Category II “Mid-Atlantic bottom trawl” fishery. However, these three takes occurred east of 70° W. long., which serves as the boundary between the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic bottom trawl fisheries, and therefore should be attributed to the “Northeast bottom trawl” fishery. These mortalities were observed and reported in the April 2009, August 2009 and March 2010 Northeast Fisheries Observer Program Incidental Take Reports (http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/). 
  • Added gray seal (WNA stock) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in the Category II “Northeast bottom trawl” fishery. In November 2009, a gray seal was killed in a bottom trawl targeting Loligo squid and operating east of 70° W. long., which serves as the boundary between the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic bottom trawl fisheries. The PBR for this stock was undetermined because the minimum population size is unknown (2010 LOF); therefore, it was unknown what percentage of PBR this mortality represents and whether the take is driving the Category II classification of the fishery. However, the stock’s abundance appeared to be increasing in U.S. waters and the total U.S. fishery-related serious injury and mortality was considered insignificant and approaching a zero mortality or serious injury rate (2010 SAR). This mortality was observed and reported in the November 2009 NEFOP Incidental Take Reports (http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/). ). 
  • Clarified the spatial boundary of this fishery to read as follows: “The Northeast bottom trawl fishery includes all U.S. waters south of Cape Cod, MA that are east of 70° W and extending south to the intersection of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and 70° W (approximately 37° 54' N), as well as all U.S. waters north of Cape Cod to the Maine-Canada border.”
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 1,635 to 2,584.
2011
  • Updated the fishery description to update the FMPs applicable to the fishery, stating “The fishery is primarily managed by TACs, individual trip limits (quotas), effort caps (limited number of days at sea per vessel), time and area closures, and gear restrictions under several interstate and federal FMPs.”
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 1,052 to 1,635. This estimation may be an inflation of actual effort; however, it represents the potential effort for the fishery, given the multiple gear types several state permits may allow for.
2010
  • Harbor porpoise (GME/BF) added to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery. The final 2008 SAR indicates that there have been several mortalities from 2003-2008 (included 1 dead in 2003, 4 in 2005, and 1 in 2006). Estimates have not been generated or reported in the SARs for the percentage of the stock's PBR taken in this fishery.
2009
  • Added harbor seal (WNA) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery based on information presented in the 2007 Stock Assessment Reports (SARs) stating that two harbor seal mortalities were observed from 2001-2005.
  • Removed harbor porpoise (GME/BF) from the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery. The inclusion of this stock was a typographical error. NMFS proposed to add the stock in 2005, but did not do 3 so based on a public comment stating that the animal taken in the fishery was badly decomposed and the trawl duration was only 5 hours. NMFS has never considered this stock to be taken in this fishery; however, the stock inadvertently retained on the LOF.
2007
  • To correct a typographical error, the subscript "1" was removed from harp seal (WNA) on the list of species killed/injured (Table 2 in the LOF) because this stock does not drive the fishery's classification as a Category II.
2006
  • Deleted striped dolphin (WNA) and bottlenose dolphin (WNA offshore) from the list of species killed/injured in this fishery because no interactions were documented in the previous 5 years.
  • Added a superscript “1” in Table 2 after white-sided dolphin (WNA) and harp seal (WNA), indicating that these stocks were driving the categorization of the fishery. (The “1” after harp seal was a typographical error corrected in the 2007 LOF.)
2005
  • Elevated the fishery from a Category III to a Category II based on documented interactions with Atlantic white-sided dolphins (WNA). There were 12 mortalities or serious injuries in this fishery during 2003, or 3.3% of the stock’s PBR (PBR=364).
  • Renamed the fishery from the “North Atlantic bottom trawl fishery” to the "Northeast bottom trawl fishery" to encompass similar bottom trawl fisheries operating in the region.
  • Harp seals (GME/BF) added to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery based on interactions documented in a recent Stock Assessment Report (SAR).
  • Proposed to add harbor porpoise (GME/BF) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery based on a single mortality in 2003. Did not add this stock to the list based on a public comment that the observed mortality was a badly composed animal and trawl duration was only 5 hours; therefore, the animal was likely dead before entering the trawl. This was supported by the SAR.
1999
  • Common dolphin (WNA) added to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery based on three mortalities from 1991-1995 (as reported in the 1997 SAR, but was not explained in the 1999 LOF). The average annual mortality and serious injury was 28.4 animals/year, or 18.3% of PBR (PBR=155).


 

Updated December 14, 2016