Action Plan to Reduce Atlantic Sturgeon Bycatch in Federal Large Mesh Gillnet Fisheries
This Action Plan to Reduce Atlantic Sturgeon Bycatch in Federal Large Mesh Gillnet Fisheries was Produced by the Atlantic Sturgeon Bycatch Working Group to fulfill the requirements of the May 27, 2021 Biological Opinion.
The Biological Opinion on 10 Fishery Management Plans in the Greater Atlantic Region and the New England Fishery Management Council’s Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 required NOAA Fisheries to convene a working group to address Atlantic sturgeon bycatch in the federal large mesh gillnet fisheries. The working group was required to develop an action plan by May 27, 2022, to reduce Atlantic sturgeon in these fisheries by 2024.
The Action Plan to Reduce Atlantic Sturgeon Bycatch in Federal Large Mesh Gillnet Fisheries:
- Communicates the results of the review of all available information regarding Atlantic sturgeon bycatch and highlight gaps in the available information
- Recommends measures that the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries should consider to reduce bycatch of Atlantic sturgeon in the federal large mesh fishery by 2024
- Establishes a timeline for scoping and development of regulatory measures and completing or initiating work necessary to close information gaps
The draft version of this Action Plan was released on May 26, 2022 and several opportunities for public comment were subsequently provided. Public feedback and comment were considered and incorporated into the final version of the Action Plan.