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Contact: Jordan St. John
|NOAA News Releases 2002
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A top NOAA official is to meet with area fishermen and commercial fishing associations Friday, August 30, in Stonington, Conn., to discuss recent developments and future changes to New England fisheries. Timothy R.E. Keeney, deputy assistant secretary for oceans and atmosphere with the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is slated to meet with Southern New England Fishermen’s and Lobstermen’s Association.
NOAAis the parent agency of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) which manages fishing in U.S. federal waters.
The 1 p.m. meeting at the Stonington Town Dock was arranged by Congressman Rob Simmons (R-2nd Dist.). Discussions will center on recent litigation affecting northeast groundfishing rules, especially major changes in those rules owing to the court’s finding. The rules are under development now and to be in effect by August of next year.
A major change in the fishery management plan, called an amendment, is required to meet the court’s concerns about continued overfishing, rebuilding depleted stocks and mitigating bycatch. In all, some nine proposals are under review, most of which further restrict fishing time, areas, and gear.
NOAA Fisheries leaders have said that the goal of the current restrictions is to keep fishing communities alive for the long term by creating a sustainable, stable fishery in New England.
Other topics slated for discussion at the meeting include cooperative research, supplemental appropriations and other potential resources for fishermen, reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and the condition of summer flounder in New England waters.
In Connecticut for 1999-2001, the average value of commercial fishery landings at first sale was $33.7 million. The five most valuable species in the mix are oysters, lobsters, quahogs, sea scallops and silver hake, accounting for about 80 percent of the revenues in those years. Other species important to revenues are monkfish, summer flounder and loligo squid.
In Rhode Island for 1999-2001, the average value of commercial fishery landings at first sale was $72.4 million. The five most valuable species in the mix are lobsters, loligo squid, monkfish, quahogs and summer flounder, accounting for an average of 67 percent of the revenues in those years. Other species important to revenues are silver hake, butterfish, herring, and scup.
Connecticut native Timothy Keeney is a key member of the NOAA Management team. NOAA is the nation’s leading government science and environmental management agency that serves the nation by forecasting all U.S. weather and climate, monitoring and archiving ocean and atmospheric data, managing marine fisheries and mammals, and conduction cutting-edge oceanic, atmospheric and solar research.
NOAA manages the U.S. operational weather and environmental satellites, a fleet of research ships and aircraft, and 12 environmental research laboratories throughout the nation. It maintains a budget of more than $3.2 billion and has 12,700 employees at posts in every U.S. state, at sea and at many overseas locations.
Keeney has had several environmental management and regulatory positions, including NOAA general counsel and director of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management at NOAA’s National Ocean Service. He served as commission for the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events. NOAA provides environmental leadership of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
To learn more about NOAA, please visit the Web site at http://www.noaa.gov.