A pioneer of the sector system, CCCHFA established its first "harvesting cooperative" for fishermen using hook gear in 2004. A second Hook-sponsored sector, comprised of fishermen using both hooks and gillnets, was approved in 2006. In 2010, the two groups merged into one, operating as an independent 501 (c) 5, the Georges Bank Fixed Gear Sector.
The sector system allows fishermen to work collectively to harvest a combined quota of fish. These fishing cooperatives increase flexibility and profit for fishing businesses, encourage sustainable fishing methods and make it easier for fishermen to stay within annual limits.
On May 1, 2010, the National Marine Fisheries Service implemented new groundfish measures for all commercial fishermen in New England that incorporated the sector system. There are now 17 of these groups across the region. Find out more about the new management rules.
CCCHFA is contracted annually by the Fixed Gear Sector to provide sector management services and office space.