The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold six scoping hearings between April 6 and April 21, 2015 to gather input for a potential amendment that would consider options for reducing the capacities of the longfin squid and Illex squid fleets. The Council will also take general comments related to the management of the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish fisheries during these hearings.
The Council is considering this action because there is considerable latent capacity in both the longfin squid and Illex squid fisheries. A small portion of vessels with limited access squid permits account for the majority of landings in most years, and the Council is concerned that activation of latent capacity in these fisheries could lead to excessive fishing effort and increased catch of non-target species.
The amendment would likely consider a variety of approaches for reducing capacity in the squid fisheries, such as a requalification of permits, a tiered limited access system, and/or individual fishing quotas (also known as “catch shares”). If the Council decides to move forward with an amendment, a range of alternatives would be developed for analysis and additional public comment.
During the scoping period the Council will gather information about the scope of issues that should be considered in the amendment. Scoping is the first and best opportunity for members of the public to identify management issues and propose effective alternatives. Comments provided early in the amendment development process help the Council ensure that issues of public concern are addressed in a thorough and appropriate manner. During these hearings, the Council will also accept general comments on the MSB fisheries that could inform Council decision making for upcoming annual specifications or other actions.
Additional information and updates on this amendment will be posted on the Council’s website at: http://www.mafmc.org/actions/squid-capacity-amendment.
Scoping Hearing Schedule
Monday April 6, 2015, 4:00 pm. Superior Trawl, 55 State Street, Narragansett, RI 02882.
Telephone: (401) 782-1171.
Tuesday April 7, 2015, 5:00 pm. Montauk Library, 871 Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954.
Telephone: (631) 668-3377.
Wednesday April 8, 2015, 5:00 pm. Fairfield Inn, 185 MacArthur Dr, New Bedford, MA 02740.
Telephone: (774) 634-2000.
Monday April 13, 2015, 6:00 pm. Congress Hall Hotel. 251 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204.
Telephone: (888) 944-1816.
Wednesday April 15, 2015, 5:00 pm. Ocean Place Resort. 1 Ocean Blvd, Long Branch, NJ, 07740. Telephone: (732) 571-4000.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 6:00 pm. This hearing will be conducted via webinar. To join the webinar, go to http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/squidscoping/ and follow the prompts to join the audio conference. Two locations will also be available for in-person participation in the webinar:
- Virginia Marine Resources Commission: 2600 Washington Avenue, 4th Floor, Newport News, VA 23607; (757) 247-2200.
- MAFMC Office: 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover DE 19901; (302) 526-5254 (see note below).
Please contact Jason Didden at firstname.lastname@example.org or (302) 526-5254 if you are planning to attend at the Council office or if you would like to test/confirm that your computer is set up to access the webinar.
These meetings are 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.
In addition to providing comments at hearings, interested stakeholders can provide written comments for Council consideration. Comments can be submitted by any of the following methods:
- Online at http://www.mafmc.org/comments/squid-capacity-amendment
- Email to Jason Didden at email@example.com; - Include “Squid Capacity Amendment Scoping” in the subject line;
- Mail 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 ‘“Squid Capacity Amendment Scoping”; or
- Fax to (302) 674–5399.