New England silver hake - trawl

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The New England whiting fishery is a small mesh trawl fishery. The FIP will help to reduce bycatch of flatfish, haddock and cod. 

The whiting stock has recovered from overfishing and currently has a low probability of overfishing.  Silver Dollar Seafood and others support progress on Amendment 22 (A22) to the Small-mesh Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, which is meant to establish the whiting fishery as a limited access fishery.  It will put a cap on the number of participants in the fishery and is being taken up as a way to reduce bycatch, make the fishery more easily manageable, and reduce the future risk of overfishing.

The fishery is managed and assessed in context of multispecies and multi-gear fisheries targeting silver hake and uncertainties and challenges facing the stock assessment have been considered (Helser and Alavade 2012).  Corrective management measures are initiated through annual quota limitations in U.S. waters.  Boats can fish for whiting with small mesh (3"), but smaller mesh is penalized with much smaller catch limits.  Use of larger mesh gear is encouraged so juveniles can escape. The FIP will promote bycatch reduction measures and encourage incentives (higher trip limits, permission to fish in the northern area) for vessels using larger mesh sizes to improve selectivity.

The New England whiting fishery is a small mesh trawl fishery. The FIP will help to reduce bycatch of flatfish, haddock and cod. 

FIP Objective(s) 

By 2018:

1. Reduce discards in the whiting fishery by adding haddock to the New England bycatch avoidance program operated by Cornell cooperative extension.

2. Reduce bycatch of flatfish, haddock and cod with a rule to use big mesh belly panels and / or raised footrope trawls for permission to fish for whiting in the northern area.


FIP Type 
FIP Stage 
Stage 3: FIP Implementation
Start and Projected End Dates
July, 2015
December, 2018
Common Name 
Silver Hake
Scientific Name 
Merluccius bilinearis
Additional Names 
Gear Type 
Bottom Trawl
Midwater Trawl
FAO Major Fishing Area
Area 21 (Atlantic, Northwest)
Exclusive Economic Zones
United States of America (the)
Flag of Vessel 
United States of America (the)
FIP Volume 
6,000 metric tons

How is this FIP Doing? 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.
68% 32%
Basic FIPs may focus their workplans on a subset of the indicators. This shows the proportion of total indicators the FIP is working on.
This shows the proportion of actions in the workplan that the FIP has completed.
This shows the proportion of actions that are behind schedule, on track,completed, or not yet started.
Behind On Track Complete Future
0% 33% 67% 0%
FIP Progress Rating 
C - Some Recent Progress

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Silver Dollar Seafood
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Dan Farnham
Organization Name 
Sustainability Incubator
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Katrina Nakamura