The Council is developing a framework action to consider modifications to the Atlantic mackerel commercial fishery closure possession limits.
This framework action will present alternatives with the purposes of rebuilding the mackerel stock with associated management measures (including 2019-2021 specifications), as well as setting the river herring/shad (RH/S) cap for the mackerel fishery.
This action will consider opening the Wave 1 (January – February) recreational black sea bass fishery under a Letter of Authorization program.
The Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Commercial Accountability Measures Framework proposes changes to the commercial accountability measures for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass.
Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Framework Framework on Conservation Equivalency, Block Island Sound Transit, and Slot Limits
The Council and the ASMFC are developing a joint framework action and addendum to consider adding the following management options to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan:
The Mid-Atlantic Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) are developing an amendment to review and possibly revise the allocation of Atlantic bluefish between the commercial and recreational fisheries and the commercial allocations to the states. As part of this amendment the Council and ASMFC will also be reviewing the goals and objectives of the bluefish FMP and the quota transfer processes. Other issues may also be considered.
This amendment will consider options to ensure that no individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of the Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) privileges. In addition, the goals and objectives for the SCOQ FMP will be reviewed and potentially revised.
This amendment considers adding Atlantic chub mackerel (Scomber colias) to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squids, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The amendment may include potential catch limits, accountability measures, and other conservation and management measures required for stocks to be considered “in the fishery.”
The Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission developed this joint management action to modify the dates of the commercial scup quota periods.
The Council, in response to a 2015 petition from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, is considering the designation of 13 artificial reef sites as Special Management Zones (SMZs) in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off of New Jersey.
- Final Rule published September 11, 2017
There has been recent, growing interest in developing the Mid-Atlantic regions energy resources. The region possesses substantial amounts of energy in the form of oil and gas, wind power, liquefied natural gas, hydropower, among others. Development of these energy resources falls under the purview of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). However, the Council periodically provides input on energy activities that may impact the marine environment and the Council’s managed resources and fisheries.
This page provides information related to the Council's involvement in, and comments on, energy development activities. For up-to-date information about specific projects in the Mid-Atlantic, please visit BOEM's Atlantic Fishing Industry Communication and Engagement webpage as well as FERC’s website.
Council Comment Letters
- 2012 MAFMC Comment Letter on Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PElS) to Evaluate Geologic and Geophysical (G&G) Activities in the Mid- and South Atlantic OCS Planning Areas
- 2014 MAFMC Comment Letter on Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PElS) to Evaluate Geologic and Geophysical (G&G) Activities in the Mid- and South Atlantic OCS Planning Areas, 5/2/14
- 2016 MAFMC Comment Letter on Federal Consistency Determinations for the Spectrum Geo Inc. and GX Technology Corporation proposals to conduct two dimensional (2D) geophysical seismic surveys, 4/25/15
- 2016 MAFMC Comment Letter on the Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider the impacts of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore New York Wind Energy Area (WEA), 6/28/16
- 2017 MAFMC Comment Letter to Secretary Zinke on Offshore Oil Development on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, 4/25/17
- 2017 MAFMC Comment Letter on Seismic Marine Mammal Incidental Harassment Authorization Requests, 7/5/17
- 2017 MAFMC Comment Letter on Development of a New National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024, 8/7/17
- 2018 MAFMC Comment Letter on the development of a New National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024, 3/9/18
- 2018 MAFMC Comment Letter to Secretary Zinke on Wind Energy Development in the Northeast Region, 3/19/18
- 2018 MAFMC Comment Letter to Secretary Ross on Wind Energy Development in the Northeast Region, 3/19/18
- 2018 MAFMC Comment Letter on the proposed “Renewable Energy Path Forward on the Atlantic,” 4/17/18
- MAFMC and NEFMC response to New York Bight Call for Information, 6/4/18
Council Habitat Policies - Offshore Energy
The Council has developed a series of policies that articulate its positions on a range of issues that impact fish habitat. Listed below are policies pertaining to offshore energy development. Additional information and a comprehensive list of policies are available at http://www.mafmc.org/habitat/.
Offshore Wind Workshop
In February 2014, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council hosted a workshop focusing on best management practices (BMPs) and mitigation measures for offshore wind development in the Mid-Atlantic region. The workshop provided a forum for fishermen, fishery managers, decision-makers, and offshore wind experts to discuss and provide input on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Draft Report on Fishing Best Management Practices and Mitigation Measures.
This Amendment considers mechanisms to facilitate industry funding of observer coverage, as well as specific coverage targets and related measures for the Atlantic mackerel and Atlantic herring fisheries.
The Council is involved in a range of initiatives to address river herring and shad conservation. This page summarizes information pertaining to Amendments 14 and 15, Framework 9, and the River Herring Technical Expert Working Group (TEWG).
- Final Rule published November 24, 2017
- Final Rule published August 28, 2017
The Council is considering development of a “Squid Capacity Amendment” to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish (MSB) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This amendment would review the performance of the longfin squid and Illex squid fisheries and consider options for controlling or limiting capacity of the fleets.
- Final Rule published December 14, 2016
- Final Rule published June 15, 2016
This amendment addresses FMP goals and objectives for summer flounder and commercial management measures and strategies, including federal commercial moratorium permit requalification, commercial allocation, and landings flexibility FMP framework provisions.