The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold an additional webinar scoping hearing to solicit public input on an amendment to review and consider modifications to both the permitting system for Illex squid and the goals and objectives of the entire Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP).
There is also a separate written comment period for this action, see https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/02/19/2019-02697/fisheries-of-the-northeastern-united-states-atlantic-mackerel-squid-and-butterfish-fisheries-scoping. The Council will also accept comments during its April 2019 Council meeting, and that meeting will be noticed separately.
In June 2017, the Council considered, but did not adopt, revisions to Illex squid permits as part of Amendment 20 to the FMP. Since then, effort and landings have increased and the fishery closed early in both 2017 and 2018 after fully harvesting the available Illex squid quota. Given recent fishery performance, the Council is evaluating if permitted access to the Illex fishery should be modified based on recent and historical participation, and/or other considerations. In addition, existing FMP goals and objectives have not been revised since they were originally established. The Council is seeking input whether these goals and objectives are still appropriate for managing the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish fisheries or if they should be modified.
The scoping period is an important opportunity for members of the public to raise concerns related to the scope of issues that will be considered in the amendment and the general focus of the action. Public comments during scoping will help the Council address issues of public concern in a thorough and appropriate manner.
Additional information and updates on this action will be posted on the Council’s website at: http://www.mafmc.org/actions/illex-permitting-msb-goals-amendment and in the scoping guide.
Please direct any questions about the amendment to Jason Didden (firstname.lastname@example.org, 302- 526-5254).