Council Meeting in Annapolis, MD: December 10-13, 2018

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's meeting to be held December 10-13 in Annapolis, MD. The meeting will be held at Westin Annapolis (100 Westgate Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Telephone 410-972-4300).

Meeting Materials: Briefing documents will be posted at as they become available.

Public Comments: Written comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on November 28 to be included in the Council meeting briefing book. Comments received after this deadline but before 5:00 p.m. on December 6 will be posted as “supplemental materials” on the Council meeting web page. After that date, all comments must be submitted using an online comment form available at available at

Webinar: For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest at:


Monday, December 10th  

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Executive Committee Meeting (CLOSED)

  • Ricks E Savage Award

1:30 p.m. Council Convenes

1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Council Photo

1:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Risk Policy Framework

  • Final results of Summer Flounder Economic Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE), Doug Lipton - NMFS

  • Discuss next steps

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Law Enforcement Workshop Report

  • Report on Law Enforcement/For-Hire Workshop (November 13-14, 2018)

  • Review workshop summary and develop recommendations on further actions

Tuesday, December 11th

9:00 a.m. Council Meeting with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Boards

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Discussion of Potential 2019 Mid-Year Revisions for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass

  • Discuss timeline for revising 2019 summer flounder specifications

  • Discuss potential for mid-year revisions to 2019 black sea bass and scup specifications, including timing of 2019 operational assessment

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Black Sea Bass 2019 Recreational Specifications

  • Review recent fishery performance, Monitoring Committee and Advisory Panel recommendations

  • Adopt recommendations for 2019 federal waters recreational management measures

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Scup 2019 Recreational Specifications

  • Review recent fishery performance, Monitoring Committee and Advisory Panel recommendations

  • Adopt recommendations for 2019 federal waters recreational management measures

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Summer Flounder 2019 Recreational Specifications

  • Review recent fishery performance, Monitoring Committee recommendations and Advisory Panel recommendations

  • Discuss timeline for developing 2019 recreational measures in early 2019 based on benchmark assessment results

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Framework and Addendum XXXI on Conservation Equivalency, Block Island Sound Transit, and Slot Limits

  • Take final action

4:00 p.m. End of Joint Meeting for the Day

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Board-Only Meeting on Addendum XXXII for Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Recreational Management

  • Take final action

Wednesday, December 12th

9:00 a.m. Council Meeting with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Boards

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Summer Flounder Commercial Issues and Goals and Objectives Amendment

  • Take final action

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Revised Stock Assessment Process, NEFSC

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m. Presentation on Summer Flounder F-Based Management MSE

  • Review preliminary results of MSE to explore F-based recreational management, G. Fay and J. McNamee

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Black Sea Bass Amendment and Review of Progress on Commission’s Strategic Plan for Black Sea Bass

  • Discuss initiation of an amendment including identification of issues to consider

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Research Steering Committee Report

  • Report on Research Steering Committee Webinar (November 27, 2018)

  • Discuss recommendations from the meeting

5:00 p.m. End of Joint Meeting

Thursday, December 13th

9:00 a.m. Council Convenes

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team Report, Michael Asaro - NMFS

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 2019 Implementation Plan

  • Review and approve 2019 Implementation Plan

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Business Session

  • Committee Reports

    • Scientific and Statistical Committee Report

    • Executive Committee

  • Executive Director's Report, Chris Moore

  • Organization Reports

    • NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Office

    • NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center

    • NOAA Office of General Counsel

    • NOAA Office of Law Enforcement

    • US Coast Guard

    • Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

  • Liaison Reports

    • New England Council

    • South Atlantic Council

  • Continuing and New Business

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Mid-Atlantic Council Solicits Public Input on Chub Mackerel Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Council is soliciting public input on a draft amendment to address management and conservation of chub mackerel off the U.S. east coast. Five public hearings will be held between December 3, 2018 and January 14, 2019. Written comments will be accepted through January 18, 2019.

NOAA Fisheries Announces Commercial Harvest Quotas for Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog

November 6, 2018 - The following was released by NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Office:

For fishing year 2019 (January 1–December 31, 2019), the quota will remain 3.4 million bushels for surfclams, 5.33 million bushels for ocean quahogs, and 100,000 Maine bushels for Maine ocean quahogs.

These quotas are unchanged from fishing year 2018. In addition, as was the case for the last 14 years, the minimum size limit for surfclams is being suspended for the 2019 fishing year. 

These measures become effective on January 1, 2019.

To get all the details, read the final rule as filed in the Federal Register today and the permit holder bulletin posted on our website.


Fishermen: Contact Douglas Potts at 978-281-9341 

Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel at 978-281-9175

MAFMC to Host Workshop Addressing Law Enforcement Issues in For-Hire Fisheries

Tuesday, November 13, 12:00 p.m. – Wednesday, November 14, 4:00 p.m.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Philadelphia Airport
9000 Bartram Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19153
Phone: 215-796-6001 
Room Block: Online reservations, Group Name: Mid-Atlantic Fishery, Group Code: MAF (October 16 cutoff)

Details and Registration:

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will host a workshop November 13-14 (Law Enforcement/ For-Hire Workshop) to identify issues related to law enforcement in for-hire fisheries and sale by recreational anglers of tilefish and tuna and to develop potential solutions. Specifically, the workshop will address:

  1. Operator versus angler (client) responsibility for fisheries violations that occur on for-hire vessels and law enforcement options for addressing these.

  2. Issues related to the sale of fish by private recreational anglers (particularly golden tilefish and tunas) focusing on the need for vessels selling fish to comply with U.S. Coast Guard requirements and/or Federal permits that allow for the sale of fish.

Recommendations coming from this workshop will be presented during the Council’s December meeting for formal discussion. State and federal fisheries law enforcement, as well as operators of for-hire vessels and private vessels fishing for tuna or tilefish along the Atlantic who may have encountered these issues, may want to participate.

The workshop is open to the public and free to attend but pre-registration is requested to ensure adequate meeting facilities. For more information and to register, visit

Request for Proposals For a Study to Document the Distribution of Surfclams in the US Northwest Atlantic

The Council is seeking a highly-qualified contractor to document the distributions of Spisula solidissima similis and Spisula solidissima solidissima in the nearshore waters of the US Northwest Atlantic.

Comment Period Open on Proposed Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial Accountability Measure Modifications

NOAA Fisheries proposes to revise the commercial accountability measures applicable to the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries when overages are caused by discards. The comment period is open through September 10, 2018.

MAFMC and ASMFC to Hold Public Hearings for Summer Flounder Commercial Issues Amendment

The Council and ASMFC are soliciting public input on a draft amendment to address several potential changes to the management of the commercial summer flounder fishery, as well as modifications to the fishery management plan (FMP) goals and objectives for summer flounder. Ten public hearings will be held between September 10 and September 27. Written comments will be accepted through October 12, 2018.

South Atlantic Council to Hold Public Scoping Webinars

The following information is being posted on behalf of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council as it may be of interest to some Mid-Atlantic stakeholders.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has scheduled a series of public scoping webinars from August 6 through August 16 to provide an opportunity for public comment on the following issues: (1) Snapper Grouper Charter/Headboat (For-Hire) Federal Permit Modifications under Snapper Grouper Amendment 47; (2) Best Fishing Practices under Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 29; and (3) Yellowtail Snapper Accountability Measures under Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 32.  Copies of scoping documents, video presentations, links for webinar registration, public comment forms, and other information will be posted to the Council’s website at: as it becomes available. Written comments will be accepted until August 17, 2018.

Questions? Contact Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer at or Cameron Rhodes, Outreach Specialist at

American Fisheries Society Stakeholder Engagement Day - Aug. 21, Atlantic City, NJ

The American Fisheries Society (AFS) will be hosting Stakeholder Engagement Day on Tuesday, August 21 as a part of this year's annual AFS meeting in Atlantic City, NJ. Additional details are available at the following link:

AFS is offering a reduced one-day registration cost of $50 (normally $330) for fishing and aquaculture industry stakeholders to attend and participate in the conference on Tuesday, August 21. The sessions of greatest interest to industry were aggregated together on this day and quite a few stakeholders will be speaking during symposia or industry panels. Additionally, there will be a networking event in the evening for industry stakeholders and members of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists (AIFRB).

To apply for the reduced registration, please complete the following application by August 15:

Please direct any questions to Dr. Douglas Zemeckis (Rutgers University):, 732-349-1152.