Dogfish Quota Officially Increased

It’s good to be back.  Lots of news in the dogfish and shark fisheries while I’ve been busy.

The ASMFC officially announced that they would be increasing next year’s spiny dogfish quota to 30 million pounds, up from the 20 million pounds this year.  The daily possession limit remains at 3,000 pounds.  This announcement came out over the ASMFC’s e-mail listserve, but the whole press release is up at Shark Year Magazine.

Originally, a 75% increase was proposed, bringing the quota up to 37.5 million pounds, but this has been reduced down to a “mere” 10 million pound increase.  I covered this in one of my last posts before taking a break to get some grad school-related stuff done.  It seems as though the increase has been moderated somewhat, and is projected to create fishing mortality below the thresholds set by NMFS.  However, the potential for a secondary crash from that period of low recruitment is still there, and even mentioned in the press release.  It looks like at least some of the science is going into this quota.

Also mentioned in the press release is a 33 fish possession limit on species in the Large Coastal Shark fishery complex.

In other shark conservation news, the EU has proposed a fins-on rule that would effectively eliminate the practice of finning at sea (and cruelly discarding the finless shark back into the ocean) in European fisheries.  Aside from being less cruel, landing the whole shark also allows managers to observe the exact species landed and make stock assessments accordingly.  Since European fisheries are among the larges shark fisheries, this could have significant impact on shark stocks.