New England ocean perch - hook and line/otter trawl

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Overview

Ocean perch (Acadian redfish) is harvested from the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, where it is mainly caught with otter trawls and occasionally hook and line gear.  Ocean perch are doing well in the New England area of the Atlantic Ocean, where estimates of abundance have been increasing in recent years. The stock was declared rebuilt in 2012.  

The fishery is unique within the multispecies groundfish complex for several reasons.  Vessel owners that elect to participate in sector-based management agree to additional controls, like weekly monitoring reports, to help catches stay within bounds during the fishing season.  Vessels are accountable for any groundfish bycatch, including juvenile groundfish.  To control for impacts across the species, all groundfish caught are counted against a vessel’s or sector’s allocation. Fishermen follow a number of strict regulations and use modified fishing gear to reduce bycatch of other species. For example, the mesh on trawl nets must be above a minimum size to reduce bycatch of juvenile redfish and non-target species. 

The Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) was launched in February 2014 and the first activity was to complete a preliminary assessment of the fishery against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard. Three gaps were identified. One was the need for better gear selectivity for redfish capture, and was addressed by the REDNET program from 2014-2016.  Two other gaps remain, concerning the distribution of juveniles and habitat in the region.  Deep sea corals are believed to provide juvenile habitat and NOAA completed a multi-year research project on deep sea corals in 2013.  The MSC pre-assessment was updated in early 2016 and new gaps will be addressed by the FIP in coming years.  

Ocean perch (Acadian redfish) is harvested from the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, where it is mainly caught with otter trawls and occasionally hook and line gear.

FIP Objective(s) 

To reach MSC certification by 2020.

FIP Type 
Comprehensive
FIP Stage 
Stage 3: FIP Implementation
Start and Projected End Dates
February, 2014
December, 2020
Species 
Common Name 
Acadian Redfish
Gear Type 
Hook & Line
Otter Trawl
Location
FAO Major Fishing Area
Area 21 (Atlantic, Northwest)
Exclusive Economic Zones
Country 
United States of America (the)
Volume
FIP Volume 
9,437 metric tons

How is this FIP Doing?

FisheryProgress.org uses 28 industry-standard indicators based on the Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard to track FIP progress. This shows a snapshot of the FIP’s current performance against the indicators using the following scale: Red=below 60, Yellow=60-79, Green=80 or higher, Gray=data not available to score the fishery.
7% 93%
This shows the proportion of actions in the workplan that the FIP has completed.
75%  
This shows the proportion of actions that are behind schedule, on track,completed, or not yet started.
Behind On Track Complete Future
25% 0% 75% 0%
FIP Progress Rating 
E - Negligible Progress
Some FIPs include objectives that go beyond the 28 indicators. Clicking on the links below will provide additional detail on other impacts the FIP is working to achieve.

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Pier Fish
Organization Type 
Industry
Primary Contact 
Rich Barry
Organization Name 
Sustainability Incubator
Organization Type 
Consultant
Primary Contact 
Katrina Nakamura
Organization Name 
Pier Fish
Organization Type 
Industry
Primary Contact 
Scott Bode