MAFMC and ASMFC to Hold Scoping Hearings for Bluefish Allocation Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) have scheduled a series of scoping hearings to gather public input on the range of issues and information to be considered in the Bluefish Allocation Amendment. Hearings will be held June 20 – July 16 in nine coastal states from Massachusetts to Florida. The last four hearings will be joint hearings of the Council and Commission.  All comments, submitted either through public hearings or in writing, will be presented to the Council and Commission.  Written comments will be accepted until July 30, 2018.

The amendment will involve a comprehensive review of the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan’s (FMP) sector-based allocations, commercial allocations to the states, transfer processes, and goals and objectives. Specifically, the Council and Commission will consider whether modifications to the FMP’s goals, objectives, and allocation strategies for bluefish are needed. 

Scoping is the first and best opportunity for members of the public to raise concerns related to the scope of issues that will be considered. The public is encouraged to submit comments regarding the range of potential issues to be addressed in the amendment. In addition to comments on allocation and transfer processes, the Council and Commission are interested in comments on the following topics:

  • Fishery productivity
  • Ecosystem considerations
  • Changes in the fishery
  • Changes in distribution of bait fish
  • Average fish size
  • Changes in availability, effort, and marketability
  • Impacts of changes observed over time

Learn More

The Scoping Document contains background information on bluefish management and on issues that may be addressed in the amendment, as well as a description of the amendment process and timeline.

Additional information and updates will be posted at


Hearing Schedule

  1. Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 6:00 PM - Dare County Commissioners Office, 954 Marshall Collins Drive, Room 168, Manteo, North Carolina 27954; Contact: Chris Batsavage, 252.808.8013
  2. Thursday, June 21, 2018, 6:00 PM - NC Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office, 5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City, North Carolina; Contact: Chris Batsavage, 252.808.8013
  3. Thursday, June 21, 2018, 6:00 PM - Dover Public Library, 35 E. Loockerman Street, Dover, Delaware 19901; Contact: John Clark, 302.739.9914
  4. Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 6:00 PM - Ocean City Municipal Airport, 12724 Airport Road, Berlin, Maryland 21811; Contact: Eric Durell, 410.260.8308
  5. Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 6:30 PM - NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources, 205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1, East Setauket, New York 11733; Contact: Maureen Davidson, 631.444.0483
  6. Wednesday, June 27, 2018, 6:00 PM - Ocean City Library, 1735 Simpson Avenue, Ocean City, New Jersey 08226; Contact: Mike Celestino, 609.748.2040
  7. Thursday, June 28, 2018, 6:00 PM - Ocean County Administration Building, 101 Hooper Avenue, Toms River, New Jersey 08753; Contact: Mike Celestino, 609.748.2040
  8. Thursday, June 28, 2018, 6:00 PM - Brevard County Government Center North, “Brevard Room”, 518 South Palm Ave., Titusville, Florida 32780; Contact: Jim Estes, 850.617.9622
  9. Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 7:00 PM - CT DEEP Boating Education Center, 333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, Connecticut 06371; Contact: Peter Aarrestad, 860.424.4171
  10. Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 6:00 PM - Plymouth Public Library, Otto Fehlow Room, 132 South Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts; Contact: Dan McKiernan, 617.626.1536
  11. Thursday, July 12, 2018, 6:00 PM - URI Narragansett Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, Rhode Island; Contact: Julia Livermore, 401.423.1937
  12. Monday, July 16, 2018, 6:00 PM - Internet webinar: Connection information to be available at or by contacting the Council; Contact: Matthew Seeley, 302.526.5262

Written Comments

Given the joint nature of this management effort and to streamline the public comment process, comments should be directed to Council contact information below. In addition to providing comments at any of the scheduled scoping hearings, you may submit written comments by 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time, on July 30, 2018. Written comments may be sent by any of the following methods:

  1. ONLINE:
  3. MAIL TO Chris Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901

Please include “Bluefish Amendment Scoping Comments” in the subject line if using email or on the outside of the envelope if submitting written comments by mail.

All comments, regardless of submission method, will be compiled into a single document for review and consideration by both the Council and Commission. Please do not send separate comments to the Council and Commission.

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