The Council has initiated an amendment to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish fishery management plan (FMP) in order to minimize the impacts of fishing gear on deep sea corals in the mid-Atlantic. The amendment contains a range of alternatives that aim to protect corals by restricting fishing in select areas where fishing effort and prime coral habitats overlap, as well as by restricting expansion of effort into less heavily fished areas where corals are known or highly likely to be present. Additionally, this amendment proposes to modify the framework provisions of the FMP and require Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) for all Illex squid vessels. For additional information and background documents, go to the Deep Sea Coral Amendment page.
The Council is soliciting public comments on the range of alternative identified in the amendment. Five hearings have been scheduled, and written comments will be accepted until Wednesday, January 28, 2015.
Use the form below to submit written comments on the amendment. Click here for additional information on submitting written comments by mail, email, or fax.