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: http://www.mafmc.org/workshop/law-enforcement-for-hire-workshop

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 http://www.mafmc.org/workshop/law-enforcement-for-hire-workshop.

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: http://safmc.net/safmc-meetings/public-hearings-scoping-meetings/ as it becomes available. Written comments will be accepted until August 17, 2018.

Questions? Contact Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer at kim.iverson@safmc.net or Cameron Rhodes, Outreach Specialist at cameron.rhodes@safmc.net

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: https://afsannualmeeting.fisheries.org/stakeholder-engagement-day/

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: https://goo.gl/forms/F6uHHN8VmoouIq6I2

Please direct any questions to Dr. Douglas Zemeckis (Rutgers University): zemeckis@njaes.rutgers.edu, 732-349-1152.

MAFMC and NEFMC Launch Northeast Offshore Wind Webpage

MAFMC-NEFMC Logos 6-01.png

On July 11, 2018, the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils launched a new webpage that’s designed to serve as a repository for information relevant to offshore wind development activities in the Northeast Region.  The Councils worked closely with NOAA Fisheries on this collaborative effort.  The easy-to-navigate webpage provides one-stop-shopping for fishermen and other stakeholders who are searching for essential resources associated with offshore wind energy production.  The page provides direct links to government agencies, offshore wind developers, fishery liaisons, Council-developed comments, and more.

Take a look at Offshore Wind in the Northeast

Fishermen in the region are highly interested in better understanding the impacts of offshore wind development on both commercial and recreational fisheries.  The New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils want to ensure that any potential impacts on Council-managed species and the marine environment are fully considered.  In light of these factors, the Councils developed the offshore wind webpage as a tool to: (1) help facilitate the exchange of information; and (2) provide quick access to available resources.

Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Renewable Energy Projects in New England and Mid-Atlantic waters. – BOEM graphic (click map to expand)

Here’s the Webpage Address:

Webpage Information Includes Links to:

  • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), along with BOEM’s Fishing Industry Communication and Engagement page, BOEM’s State Activities page, and BOEM’s email updates registry;
  • Northeast offshore wind developers;
  • Mid-Atlantic and New England Council policies and comment letters on offshore wind issues;
  • Project-specific information on fisheries and the marine environment relative to wind activities and other ocean uses;
  • Mappers for Essential Fish Habitat and Endangered and Protected Resources, Regional Ocean Data Portals; and more.

Key Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries Contacts for More Information

  • Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council:  Jessica Coakley, jcoakley@mafmc.org, (302) 526-5252
  • New England Fishery Management Council:  Michelle Bachman, mbachman@nefmc.org, (978) 465-0492 ext. 120
  • NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office:  Sue Tuxbury,  susan.tuxbury@noaa.gov, (978) 281-9176
  • NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center: Andy Lipsky, andrew.lipsky@noaa.gov, (401) 829-8286

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