GMRI's Sector Initiative endeavors to provide objective advice and technical assistance to the groundfish industry as sector policies are further developed and considered in other fisheries.
In 2007, GMRI initiated the Sector Extension Program in response to the expressed need from the fishing industry for technical assistance in developing and implementing sectors in the Northeast multispecies fishery. This fishery consists of 13 species divided into 21 stocks including cod, haddock, flounder, and pollock.
Sectors are intended to allow local fishery management, monitoring, and oversight of the Northeast multispecies complex of groundfish while complying with fishing regulations and the fishery stock rebuilding provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
The Sector Extension Program provided technical assistance to 14 sectors through drafting operations plans, harvesting rules, monitoring plans, and environmental assessments. The program also facilitated a series of meetings with industry, NMFS, and NGOs to develop an industry-wide standard for dockside monitoring.
Groundfish sectors have been operational since May 1, 2010 and today GMRI continues to provide technical assistance by offering trainings to sector managers and members as well as distributing federal assistance funds for monitoring and sector operations through the Fisheries Technical Assistance Program.
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