This joint framework action, which is being developed in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, would establish measures to reduce bycatch of Atlantic sturgeon in the monkfish and spiny dogfish large-mesh gillnet fisheries.

The management measures in the framework will be based on recommendations from NOAA’s Action Plan to Reduce Atlantic Sturgeon Bycatch in Federal Large-Mesh Gillnet Fisheries. The recommendations include the use of low-profile gillnet gear, consideration of seasonal area management measures with potential gear restrictions, and limits on soak time for gillnet gear.

These measures are being developed to minimize the incidental take of Atlantic sturgeon. As such, the framework will focus on minor changes that do not alter the basic design, location, scope, and duration of affected gillnet fisheries.

The joint Monkfish and Dogfish Committees and Advisory Panels are taking the lead in developing the framework for consideration by both the New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils.