Monkfish Research Set-Aside Program Seeks Research Proposals

August 1, 2019 - The following was released by NOAA Fisheries:

Competition for monkfish research support has opened under the Monkfish Research Set Aside Program. Projects selected through the competition are awarded fishing days rather than dollars, and the proceeds generated from those days are used to fund the research.

This year’s priorities include monkfish life history; stock structure; relative abundance; surveys; bycatch and discard mortality; interactions with other species; gear studies; ecological studies; and trophic research.

Monkfish are one of the highest valued finfish in the Northeast. This federal fishery is managed primarily by limiting the number of days and trips that the fleet can use to target this species. Under the monkfish management plan, 500 of the allowable days-at-sea are “set aside” annually by the councils and then awarded through this federal grant competition.

NOAA Fisheries and the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils have managed the Monkfish Research Set Aside Program since 2006. Since then, 27 projects have been conducted under this program.

In addition to the monkfish, there are active RSA programs for Atlantic sea scallop and Atlantic herring.  RSA programs support applied research that responds to priorities established by the fishery management councils, and are designed to inform resource management decisions and improve stock assessments.

To learn more and apply, visit


Media: Contact Cheryl Corbett, Cooperative Programs Specialist

NOAA Fisheries Implements Squid and Butterfish Quotas for the 2019 Fishing Year

The following was released by NOAA Fisheries:

Based on updated information, we increased the commercial Illex squid quota by 8-percent for 2019. We also maintained the previously approved 2019 annual quotas for longfin squid and butterfish by continuing the existing longfin squid quota, and increasing the butterfish commercial quota by 66 percent.

The increased 2019 Illex quota is based on an evaluation that similar historic catch has not harmed the stock. As new information becomes available, we may revise the proposed quotas for future fishing years.

Read the final rule that filed today in the Federal Register and the bulletin posted on our website. Supporting documents for this rule are available on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s website.


Supporting Documents:

August 2019 Council Meeting Agenda

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet August 13-15, 2019 at the Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown (21 N. Juniper St., Philadelphia, PA 19107, Telephone 215-496-3200).

NEFSC to Hold Cooperative Research Engagement Sessions

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Cooperative Research Branch is holding a series of workshops in August and September to hear from fisheries stakeholders throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England.

Commercial eVTR Framework Webinar - Tuesday 7/23 at 8:30 a.m.

The Council will hold a webinar on Tuesday, July 23 at 8:30 a.m. to provide an update on the Commercial eVTR Framework and to review the available eVTR applications. This action could require electronic submission of Vessel Trip Reports (VTRs) for commercial permit holders. Participants will also have an opportunity to provide input on specific issues, such as the timing for submitting eVTRs.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019, 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

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The updated eVTR framework document with action alternatives will be posted to the MAFMC eVTR webinar event page later this week.

For more information, contact Karson Coutre, (302) 526-5259.

Mid-Atlantic Council to Hold Public Hearings for Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Excessive Shares Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold four public hearings in August and September 2019 to solicit public input on the Excessive Shares Amendment. The Council is also soliciting written comments on the amendment through September 14, 2019.

NOAA Announces 2019 Recreational Measures for Summer Flounder

NOAA Fisheries has announced a final rule to implement conservation equivalency for the 2019 summer flounder recreational fishery. This means that the federal recreational bag limit, minimum fish size, and fishing season are waived, and vessel owners are subject to regulations in the state where they land. A summary of 2019 summer flounder measures by state is available here. Please contact your state for information on summer flounder regulations that apply to you.

Note that black sea bass and scup recreational measures for 2019 are unchanged from 2018.


Fishermen: Contact Emily Gilbert, Regional Office, 978-281-9244

Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, 978-281-9175

Clarification: Golden Tilefish Recreational Closure in South Atlantic Waters

On June 12 NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office announced that the 2019 recreational fishing season for golden tilefish in South Atlantic federal waters would close on June 17, 2019. This closure only applies to the recreational fishery in federal waters south of the Virginia/North Carolina border.

The recreational golden tilefish fishery managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council in federal waters north of the VA/NC border is not closed.

For additional information about the South Atlantic golden tilefish closure, please see the bulletin posted on the Southeast Regional Office website, or visit the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council website.

For information about management of golden tilefish in the Mid-Atlantic (north of the VA/NC border), please visit