Mid-Atlantic Council to Hold Hearings on Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is soliciting public comments on an Amendment to the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan. The amendment, referred to as the Cost Recovery Amendment, includes proposed measures to:

  1. Collect fees and recover costs associated with the management of the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog individual transferrable quota fisheries,
  2. Facilitate incorporation of revised stock status determination criteria (i.e., biological reference points) for surfclams and ocean quahogs into the Fishery Management Plan, and
  3. Modify or eliminate the optimum yield ranges for surfclam and ocean quahog currently in the plan.

The amendment contains a range of management alternatives under consideration by the Council. During the public comment period, which will include public hearings, the public may comment on any aspect of the draft Amendment. Following a review of the comments and further development of alternatives, the Council will choose preferred management measures and submit the Amendment to the Secretary of Commerce for approval and publication of proposed and final rules, both of which have additional comment periods.

Comments may be submitted in writing or provided verbally at any of the four public hearings. Additional information and documents, including the draft Amendment document, may be obtained from www.mafmc.org/actions/cost-recovery-amendment.

Written Comments

Written comments will be accepted from December 15, 2014 until January 16, 2015.  Four public hearings will be held during this comment period. Written comments may be sent by any of the following methods:

  • Email to the following address:  nmfs.gar.SCOQAmendment@noaa.gov; Include ‘‘Cost Recovery Amendment Comments’’ in the subject line;
  • Mail or hand deliver to Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, Delaware 19901. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘Cost Recovery Amendment Comments’’;
  • Fax to (302) 674–5399.
  • A web form for submitting comments is available on the Council’s Web site: http://www.mafmc.org/comments/costrecoveryamendment.

Public Hearing Schedule

The dates and locations of the public hearings are as follows.

  • Monday, January 12, 2015. 6:30 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn Providence Airport, 1 Thurber Street, Warwick, Rhode Island, 02886. telephone (401) 734-9600
  • Tuesday, January 13, 2015. 6:00 p.m. Internet webinar, http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/scoqhearing/
  • Wednesday, January 14, 2015. 6:30 p.m. The Grand Hotel, 1045 Beach Avenue, Cape May, New Jersey 08204. telephone (609) 884-5611
  • Thursday, January 15, 2015. 6:00 p.m. Ocean Pines Branch Library, 11107 Cathell Road, Berlin, MD, 21811. telephone (410) 208-4014

These public hearings are accessible to people with disabilities.  Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to Kathy Collins, (302) 526-5253, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.


For more information, contact Jessica Coakley, jcoakley@mafmc.org.