The Mid-Atlantic Council has unanimously approved a guidance document to facilitate the transition to an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) in the Mid-Atlantic.
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has approved an amendment to protect unmanaged forage species in the Mid-Atlantic.
NMFS, in coordination with the New England Fishery Management Council (Council), is soliciting Atlantic Sea Scallop (scallop) research proposals.
Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partners Initiate Black Sea Bass Habitat Research Project in the Mid-Atlantic
The Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership (ACFHP) has established a new collaborative project with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council), and National Fish Habitat Fund (Fund) to study black sea bass habitat characteristics, fish abundance, and fish diets in the Mid-Atlantic. The project, led by Dr. Brad Stevens of UMES, is titled ‘Hab in the MAB: Characterizing black sea bass habitat in the Mid-Atlantic Bight.’ The new study will combine SCUBA, photography, videography, controlled angling, and stable isotope analysis techniques to better understand the importance of habitat and prey community structure on black sea bass feeding ecology.
“ACFHP and our collaborative partners are excited about the unique opportunity to work together over the next few years to collect data that will inform both science and management, and support healthy fisheries in the Mid-Atlantic region,” stated Kent Smith, ACFHP Steering Committee Chair.
In the summer of 2015, ACFHP applied for and received funding from the Council to manage a short-term research project focusing on Mid-Atlantic habitat (natural and/or artificial reef) and fisheries productivity. Black sea bass was chosen as a focal species because it is managed by both the Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), and because the species is structure oriented. ACFHP formed a subcommittee of representatives from the ACFHP Steering Committee, Council, and ASMFC Artificial Reef Committee to develop a request for proposals dedicated to black sea bass habitat research and/or restoration in the Mid-Atlantic region.
After careful review of several strong proposals, the ACFHP subcommittee chose to provide a $216,000 award to Dr. Stevens and his PhD student, Cara Schweitzer. Their study will determine if there are differences resulting in the use of artificial vs. natural habitats.
In particular, study objectives include:
- Determining the preference of black sea bass for particular habitats by assessing their abundance, size structure, and feeding ecology within natural and artificial reefs;
- Improving the understanding of benthic habitat structure by quantitatively assessing biodiversity, rugosity (e.g., surface roughness measurements routinely used by reef biologists), and other habitat characteristics of natural and artificial reefs; and
- Determining if increased connectivity of habitat type increases fish recruitment, by experimentally manipulating connecting areas between isolated habitat patches.
“I’m glad that the Mid-Atlantic Council was able to work with the NFHP Board to support this important research,” said Chris Moore, Executive Director of the Council. “The outcomes of this project will significantly improve our understanding of black sea bass habitat and productivity.”
ACFHP is the first of the 19 Fish Habitat Partnerships (FHPs) throughout the U.S. to support a habitat research project using the NFHP Beyond the Pond Fund. The Fund is a 501(c)3 entity created in 2015 to provide the FHPs an opportunity to connect with the private sector and maximize funding and collaboration opportunities. It supports the leveraging of resources and grassroots actions to achieve maximum impact in protecting and restoring fish habitat from the local to national levels.
Since 2006, NFHP has been a partner in 599 projects in 50 states benefiting fish habitat. The National Fish Habitat Partnership works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, tribal, and private funding resources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through priority conservation projects. NFHP implements the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and supports 20 regional grassroots partner organizations. For more information visit:
Please send your general questions or comments to LHavel@asmfc.org.
To view the press release as a PDF, please click here.
NOAA Fisheries is initiating a planning process to support its intention to transition part or all of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s spring and fall bottom trawl surveys from the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow to fishing industry vessels.
The Council is seeking a contractor to develop a “proof-of-concept” survey for blueline and golden tilefish. Proposal Submission Deadline: August 19, 2016.
The Northeast Cooperative Research Program has announced an open solicitation for its Study Fleet program! Quotes are due August 11, 2016.
August 8 – 11, 2016
Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 3001 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, Telephone 757-213-3000
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has scheduled a Q&A and public hearings for Coastal Migratory Pelagics Framework Amendment 4 addressing cobia management from GA through NY. The Council will also hold a Q&A and scoping meeting (via webinar) on management measures proposed for dolphin fish in federal water along the entire Atlantic coast.
Publication: A Framework for Incorporating Species, Fleet, Habitat, and Climate Interactions into Fishery Management
The following article was published in Frontiers in Marine Science, section Marine Ecosystem Ecology.
A Framework for Incorporating Species, Fleet, Habitat, and Climate Interactions into Fishery Management
Sarah K. Gaichas, Richard J. Seagraves, Jessica M. Coakley, Geret S. DePiper, Vincent G. Guida, Jonathan A. Hare, Paul J. Rago, and Michael J. Wilberg.
Marine ecosystems are characterized by many complex interactions. Fisheries managers face the challenge of maintaining or restoring sustainability for individual living resources which are affected by both ecological and economic interactions with other species, through processes like predation and fishing fleet interactions. These species interactions are further complicated by interactions with habitats that are changing due to both human activities and climate change. Often, fishery management systems designed to promote sustainability of individual resources have few tools or processes that also address interactions between species, fleets, habitat, and climate. Here, we review existing and potential fishery assessment and management information and tools, and we develop a potential framework for addressing interactions in management at the request of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The structured framework can be used to first prioritize interactions, second specify key questions regarding high priority interactions, and third tailor appropriate analyses to address them. The primary tools for the initial steps in the framework are risk assessment and Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE). Finally, implemented management would be evaluated to ensure that objectives are being met, or to adjust measures as conditions change. In the final section, we outline an example to illustrate how a structured decision making process within the framework could work.
BOEM will hold five public meetings in June to provide an overview of the EA findings regarding the proposed lease sale and Environmental Assessment (EA) for commercial wind energy leasing on 81,130 acres offshore New York.
NOAA Fisheries Announces Interim Management Measures for Blueline Tilefish in the Greater Atlantic Region
NOAA Fisheries has announced interim management measures for the blueline tilefish fishery in the Greater Atlantic Region. The interim measures, which go into effect on Friday, June 17 for vessels fishing north of the Virginia/North Carolina border, are the same as the previous emergency measures that expired on June 3.
Monday, June 13, 2016 - Thursday, June 16, 2016
NOAA Fisheries is pleased to announce, in coordination with the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, the selection of two cooperative research proposals submitted to the 2016/2017 Monkfish Research Set Aside (RSA) Program.
The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's June 2016 meeting to be held Monday June 13, 2016 - Thursday, June 16, 2016 in Newark, Delaware.
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) is seeking candidates for a Fishery Management Specialist position. Closing Date: June 30, 2016.
The Council will hold seven public hearings in May and June 2016 to solicit public input on the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment. Written comments will be accepted until June 17, 2016.
The Council has approved measures to establish management of blueline tilefish in Federal waters off the Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts.