Scientific and Statistical Committee to Meet March 13-14, 2018

The Council’s SSC will meet March 13-14, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. Topics to be discussed include blueline and golden tilefish specifications, NEFSC clam dredge survey redesign, NEFSC State of the Ecosystem Report, and a discussion paper on coefficients of variation for estimates of the overfishing limit. 

October 2017 Council Meeting Summary

The following summary highlights actions taken and issues considered at the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s October 2017 meeting in Riverhead, NY. Presentations, briefing materials, and webinar recordings are available on the Council website at

Open October 2017 Council Meeting Summary (pdf)

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.

Full Article:

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October 2015 Council Meeting Summary

The following summary highlights actions taken and issues considered at the Council’s meeting on October 6 – 8, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA.

June 2015 Council Meeting Summary

The following summary highlights actions and issues considered at the Council's June 8-11 meeting in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Mid-Atlantic Council to Hold Hearings on Deep Sea Corals Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold six public hearings in January to gather public comments on the Deep Sea Corals Amendment to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Hearings will be held January 12 – 20, 2015, and written comments will be accepted until January 28, 2015.

December 10 Listening Session: Deep Sea Corals in the Mid-Atlantic

Members of the public are invited to attend the Council’s next listening session at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10th to learn more about deep sea corals in the Mid-Atlantic. Guest speaker will be Dr. Martha Nizinski, a zoologist at the NOAA Fisheries National Systematics Lab

October 2014 Council Meeting Report

The following summary highlights Council actions and issues considered at the October 2014 Council Meeting held in Philadelphia, PA on October 7-9. 

NOAA selects two areas in the North Atlantic for targeted habitat conservation efforts

NOAA has announced the selection of two sites in NOAA’s North Atlantic Region as the next Habitat Focus Areas under NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint. In the Mid-Atlantic, the agency will focus its habitat  conservation and restoration efforts on the Choptank River complex in Maryland and Delaware.

NOAA Fisheries: Final ESA Section 7 Consultation Biological Opinion Now Available

NOAA Fisheries announces that the Final biological opinion to assess the impact of seven Northeast fisheries on various species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act as either threatened or endangered is now available.

NOAA Fisheries: Federal Funds Available for Habitat Restoration in Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia

NOAA Fisheries Service has announced more than $6 million in funding for habitat restoration projects in Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia to restore more than 11,000 acres of habitat, and open more than 200 stream miles for fish passage.

Marine Species Distribution Shifts Reflect Local Climate Conditions

Climate change has resulted in shifts in where and at what depths many marine species are found. The leading explanation for these changes has been biological differences among species, but a new study suggests that the local climatic conditions are more likely causing these shifts.