SHAHEEN URGES NOAA TO REVIEW HADDOCK FISHING REGULATIONS

Shaheen calls on agency to review impact of regulations on New Hampshire coastal communities

October 02, 2014

In an ongoing effort to protect New Hampshire’s coastal communities, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today called on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to review recent regulations on the recreational fishing of haddock in New Hampshire and “to consider these regulations in light of their economic impact and the latest available fishery science.” 

Shaheen is specifically urging NOAA to review a rule issued in April that has “placed severe restrictions on recreational fishermen in New Hampshire and currently prevent[s] them from fishing for either cod or haddock during some of the busiest months of the year.” The rule has resulted in dramatic revenue losses for New Hampshire fishing charter companies while recent data from the National Marine Fisheries Service indicate overfishing of haddock is not occurring.

“These small, family-owned businesses are key destinations for tourism along the New Hampshire Seacoast,” Shaheen said in a letter to NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan. “They generate critical income for our coastal communities … [and] the current closures threaten the livelihood of these businesses and are causing further economic damage throughout these communities as local hotels, stores and restaurants lose business from tourists and fishermen who decide not to travel to New Hampshire.”

Shaheen has fought extensively for New Hampshire’s fishermen and coastal communities, which have faced severe economic losses in recent years due to onerous catch limit regulations. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen led the bipartisan effort to secure disaster relief resources for affected fishing communities in several regions of the country, including nearly $2 million in federal fishery disaster assistance for New Hampshire.

The full text of Senator Shaheen letter is below:

October 2, 2014

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan

Administrator

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

1401 Constitution Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20230

Dear Dr. Sullivan:

I am writing to express my concern about the serious impact of recent National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulations on the recreational fishing of haddock in New Hampshire.

On April 22, NMFS issued new regulations that have placed severe restrictions on recreational fishermen in New Hampshire and currently prevent them from fishing for either cod or haddock during some of the busiest months of the year.  As a direct result, many fishing charter companies in my state are seeing losses of as much as half their revenue this fall. 

These small, family-owned businesses are key destinations for tourism along the New Hampshire Seacoast.  They generate critical income for our coastal communities: in 2011, recreational fishermen spent more than $90 million in New Hampshire, supporting nearly 400 jobs in the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and NMFS economic impact data.  The current closures threaten the livelihood of these businesses and are causing further economic damage throughout these communities as local hotels, stores and restaurants lose business from tourists and fishermen who decide not to travel to New Hampshire.

The most recent scientific data from NMFS show that overfishing of haddock is not occurring.  I urge you to consider these regulations in light of their economic impact and the latest available fishery science and to work with local stakeholders to ensure sustainable fisheries while protecting coastal communities.

Thank you for your consideration of this critical matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jeanne Shaheen

United States Senator