Interior Official Suggests Deleting Fishing Data that 'Undercuts' Administration's Position

In this Sept. 11, 2017 email, Interior Department official Randal Bowman suggests deleting fishing data because it "undercuts the case for the ban being harmful" in a New England national marine monument.

From: Bowman, Randal


Subject: suggested edits to cornmercial ?shing impacts sec of . n- ngland memo
Date: Monday, September 11, 2017 3:31:30 PM


'n i] rn

rCIal ?shm osure 1116.: harmful. I su est 1n the attac deletm most of it for tha

I i
ormation mdicated a roblem; however the sentence was not remov



DOI 2613-97 90614

D. [Fisheries of Commercial Fishing Prohibition i /{Comment Need to review section

to con?rm.

Commercial ?sheries operate in and around the predominantly around the landward Comment [smut This section is based on

edges of the canyons. These areas support ?sheries for a variety of species of ?sh and shell?sh. information provided by NOAA and the
providing income and employment throughout the Northeastern United States. ?She"! Management mum?. and 5? be
presumed accurate. However, including all
this information undercuts the case for the
Wimughea?emmhdeme?mmb; ban being harmful, as most ofthe figures herrepresent small 965 ofthe total catch and

revenues. I suggest keeping only the
lobster/red crab section.

The most signi?cant impacts from the commercial ?shing ban are likely to fall on the red crab

?shery? and the lobster ?shery The red crab ?shery IS
a small ?s_hery primarily homeported out of New Bedford Massachusetts. The red crab ?shery

operates in deep sea canyons. The industry recently built 1ts own processing plant in New

Bedford. em loying over 100 people annually, after years of sending crab to Canada for

lid?Stated. Because Atlantic deep?sea red crab Comment NOAA advised me AUG
sex-segregate by depth, the red crab ?shery is highly selective, targeting a narrow band along the 23 that the certi?cation was revoked and i
shelf (between 620- 650 m) in order to maximize efficiency and set traps only near the large adwsed t? dale"? sentence?

males because retention of female crabs is prohibited.

The precise extent of the lobster ?shery is not clear because only about 75% of the vessels in the
monument area are required to submit vessel trip reports. Additionally, since individual lobster
?shermen tend to ?sh the same areas to avoid each other?s traps, a closure, even 7 years in the
future, may disproportionately affect a few individuals who historically ?sh the Monument area.
In theory, their lobster ?shing effort could be transferred to other areas, but such transfer would
result in conflicts among ?shermen. Displacing any signi?cant portion of the effort from the
Monument area into Southern New England could be problematic for the health and
management of that stock. It would also be dif?cult to re-locate effort to the northern Georges
Bank or the Gulf of Maine because they are already considered saturated with gear.

Because of these characteristics of the red crab and lobster ?sheries, the Obama Administration
determined that the ?sheries could continue for a 7-year phase out period. However, as

DOI 42618-67 66615

discussed below, these same characteristics support the conclusion that the red crab and lobster
?sheries have minimal impact on monument objects and can be effectively regulated.



DOI -2918 -67 @0616