"The SERA doesn't fit with our goals at this point," Habitat Committee Chairman David Prebble, of Narragansett, R.I., said Tuesday.
"As a courtesy, we allowed him to make a proposal and presentation to our committee (at its April 6 meeting).
was pretty much ripped apart," Prebble
explained in a telephone interview that the Habitat Committee's efforts are aimed at opening up closed areas, not creating new ones.
"The Western Gulf of Maine Closed Area should be reopened with a couple of small exceptions," Prebble
To protect cod, in 1998 NOAA
closed to commercial fishing a 1,100 square mile area, in the shape of a rectangle about 15 miles wide about 18 miles east of Cape Ann that runs from Southern Maine to about 10 miles from the tip of Cape Cod.
The closure was meant to expire in three years, but was extended multiple times.
said the Habitat Committee
has been frustrated by the pace of delivery of research data by council staff needed to finalize the omnibus habitat amendment, but said he
understood that the staff has been overwhelmed and distracted by a welter of bon fide and unexpected crises, notably in Gulf of Maine cod and Georges Bank yellowtail flounder, whose stocks have recently been assessed as less robust than assumed.