Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment

Round Herring (Source: NEFSC)

Round Herring (Source: NEFSC)

The Council initiated the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment in December 2014 to “prohibit the development of new, or expansion of existing, directed fisheries on unmanaged forage species until adequate scientific information is available to promote ecosystem sustainability."

Forage species are small fish and invertebrates that feed on smaller marine organisms such as plankton and are in turn eaten by many species of fish, sea birds, and marine mammals. Forage species play an important role in sustaining the productivity and structure of marine ecosystems by facilitating the transfer of energy from the lowest levels of the food chain to higher levels. The Council initiated this amendment to protect the important ecological role that forage species play in the Mid-Atlantic.

This action will only address species that are not currently managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the New England Fishery Management Council, or the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

For more details and background on inception of this action, please see the Unmanaged Forage Public Hearing Document


Julia Beaty, Fishery Management Specialist - 302-526-5250, jbeaty@mafmc.org

Action Status

Council Approval: At the August 2016 meeting the Council selected preferred alternatives and approved the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment for submission to the Secretary of Commerce. Click here for more details.

Notice of Availability: On March 28, 2017 NOAA Fisheries published a Notice of Availability for the amendment. The NOA is available HERE.

Proposed Rule: NOAA Fisheries published a proposed rule for the amendment on April 24, 2017.

Final Rule: A final rule for the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment is scheduled to publish August 28, 2017.

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Documents & Resources

Additional Information