Oceana hails catch monitoring lawsuit victory

January 31, 2013, 3:06 pm

Conservation organization Oceana has announced a “major litigation victory” that it says will require stronger accountability through catch monitoring for the New England groundfish fishery.

The court case win in Washington establishes the first full count, cap and control fishery in the north east and will help restore New England’s groundfish populations to healthy levels in future years, according to Oceana.

The settlement reached on Jan. 30, promotes “better transparency in monitoring catch levels” in the groundfish fishery, including discards. It also requires an analysis to determine the level of monitoring needed and the publication of an annual summary of the fishery’s monitoring needs for the 2013-2015 fishing years. This analysis will be critical in determining how to provide accurate, precise and timely catch reporting.

“This agreement commits the government to fully account for the catch that it regulates,” said Eric Bilsky, Ocean senior litigator, in a press release.

“Our government must strictly monitor and enforce science-based catch limits to prevent wasteful and unsustainable fishing practices.”

The agreement reached on Jan. 30, with the federal government will require “accurate monitoring to enforce scientifically-based catch limits and help preserve healthy and sustainable ocean ecosystems,” according to Oceana.

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