The Council met Monday through Thursday of last week. On day one, there was a first “framework” meeting for a possible change to the Council’s “Risk Policy”. While this is undoubtedly complicated and wonky, the Council’s “Risk Policy” can best be described as policy articulating how much risk they want to take given the best
Squid are without-a doubt an important component of marine ecosystems of the East Coast, serving as forage for a wide variety of inshore and offshore fish and marine mammals. They also support a substantial commercial fishery, and are widely used as bait by anglers.
The Mid Atlantic fishery Management Council manages Ilex (shortfin) and loligo (longfin) squid as part of their Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish Fishery Management Plan.
Ilex are present mostly on the continental shelf and continental slope throughout much of the North Atlantic, where they can be found anywhere from the surface down to about 3,500 feet. Longfin squid prefer warmer waters than do Ilex, and can be found inshore, much shallower.
Both shortfin and longfin squid have a lifespan of less than one year, making them exempt from annual catch limits and accountability measures. Nonetheless, the Council seeks to manage squid sustainably. Ilex squid harvest is controlled through a single annual catch limit, while the annual catch limit for longfin squid is broken down into three 4-month trimesters. Trimester 1 (Jan to April), Trimester 2 (May to August) and Trimester 3 (September to December). The trimester system generally follows the annual migration the squid make: offshore in the winter and inshore in the summer.
Biologists lack the information needed to determine whether or not shortfin squid are overfished or experiencing overfishing. However, abundance appears to be declining, presumably because of unfavorable oceanographic conditions.
According to the best available science, the longfin squid stock is in relatively good condition, yet there are most certainly localized depletion concerns as it relates to predator aggregations, most notably off Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket t during trimester 2.
Regardless, the spawning stock biomass is estimated to be well above the spawning stock biomass target, and currently, loligo squid is being considered by the Marine Stewardship Council for “sustainable” certification, despite objections from anglers in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket localized depletion as well as several ENGOs.
For a full species description and management history see the Fissues page for squid
Back in September; the Greater Atlantic Regional Office of NOAA Fisheries (GARFO) announced mandatory electronic reporting requirements effecting ANY FOR HIRE VESSEL that fishes under a federal permit and is endorsed to catch certain Mid Atlantic Council managed species. Many New England based charter boats, some who don’t even realize they are supposed to have a federal
Localized depletion and bycatch are real and need to be addressed If you fish at all really, you know that just about everything eats squid. Fluke, striped bass, black seabass, scup, weakfish, bluefin and yellowfin tuna, billfish, mahi… I could probably go on here. And hey… I eat it too! Because it’s pretty damn tasty.
Squid are an important component of the marine ecosystems of the East Coast, serving as forage for a wide variety of inshore and offshore fish, birds and marine mammals. They also support a substantial commercial fishery, and are widely used as bait by recreational anglers. Although squid are agile, free-swimming animals, they are mollusks, belonging