INACTIVE New England silver hake - trawl

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Reason for Inactivity 
Missed two consecutive reports

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.

FIP Description 

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 4: Improvements in Fishing Practices or Fishery Management
Start and Projected End Dates
Work on Amendment 22, intended to limit access to the Small-mesh Multi-species aka Whiting fishery, has been delayed while going through the council process. Council is expected to vote on Amendment 22 at their December meeting and then will go back out to public scoping in Spring 2019.
Common Name 
Silver Hake
Scientific Name 
Merluccius bilinearis
Additional Names 
Gear Type 
Bottom Trawl
Exclusive Economic Zones
United States of America (the)
Country Flag of Vessel 
United States of America (the)
Regional Fisheries Management Organization

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Silver Dollar Seafood
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Dan Farnham
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