Emergency Blueline Tilefish Webinar

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council  will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 from 1:30 until 4:30 p.m. to consider requesting emergency action for deepwater snapper/grouper species, including blueline tilefish, within the Mid-Atlantic Council’s jurisdiction.

Briefing Materials and Webinar connection details can be found at http://www.mafmc.org/briefing/2015/february-2014-blueline-tilefish-webinar-meeting

Background & Purpose

The purpose of the meeting is to consider requesting emergency action by National Marine Fisheries Service under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) for deepwater snapper/grouper species, including blueline tilefish, within the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s jurisdiction. Several developments precipitated this request, including:

  1. In discussions with NMFS headquarters, the Agency confirmed that the Council can directly request emergency action on these species within our Council’s jurisdiction.
  2. Council Chairman Rick Robins was contacted by a commercial North Carolina long-liner who indicated that he intends to begin directing on blueline tilefish in June of this year, within our Council’s jurisdiction, and intends to land the fish in New Jersey, where there are no landing limits.
  3. New Jersey has indicated, preliminarily, that they will not be able to implement state regulations before the fishery begins this summer. Connecticut has also indicated that they will not have regulations in place in time for this year’s fishery, if at all.
  4. Further communications with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council staff confirmed that they are scheduled to consider requesting emergency federal action at their March meeting to protect blueline tilefish within the Mid-Atlantic Council’s jurisdictional boundaries.

Federal Register Notice

This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities.  Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.