Council Approves Chub Mackerel Management Measures

The Mid-Atlantic Council approved a suite of management measures for chub mackerel in federal waters from Maine through North Carolina, including a total allowable landings limit, permit requirements, and other measures. If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, the Chub Mackerel Amendment will add chub mackerel to the Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan.

Mid-Atlantic Council Takes Final Action on Summer Flounder Commercial Issues Amendment

At their March 2019 meeting, the Mid-Atlantic Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission recommended modifications to the current state-by-state commercial allocations for summer flounder. In addition, the Council and Commission approved revised Fishery Management Plan goals and objectives for summer flounder.

Federal Shutdown Impacts on MAFMC Meetings - Updated 2/4/19

As a result of the government shutdown, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council cancelled or postponed a number of meetings. Below is a list of the meetings that were cancelled and rescheduled. We are working to reschedule as many of these meeting as possible. Please check back frequently for updates, as this page is being updated on an ongoing basis.

The following meetings have been RESCHEDULED:

The following meetings have been CANCELLED:

  • The Northeast Regional Marine Fish Habitat Assessment Steering Committee Meeting scheduled for January 30

  • The Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel (NTAP) meeting scheduled for February 15

Rescheduled meeting dates will be posted on this page and at http://www.mafmc.org/council-events/.

Last Updated 2/4/19

Mid-Atlantic Council Requests Public Input for Next Five-Year Strategic Plan

The Council is seeking public input on the future of fisheries management in the Mid-Atlantic. All interested stakeholders are invited to take a survey and weigh in on how the Council has performed under its existing strategic plan and what issues should be addressed in the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan.

Mid-Atlantic Council to Hold Scoping Hearings for Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold four scoping hearings from February 4 to February 7, 2019 to solicit public input on an amendment to review and consider modifications to both the permitting system for Illex squid and the goals and objectives of the entire Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish Fishery Management Plan.

Final Action on Summer Flounder Commercial Issues Amendment Postponed Until February 2019

During a joint meeting last week in Annapolis, Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board (Board) voted to postpone final action on the Summer Flounder Commercial Issues Amendment until their next joint meeting in February 2019.

The amendment considers several potential changes to the management of the commercial summer flounder fishery and proposes modifications to the fishery management plan goals and objectives for summer flounder.

Discussion during the meeting focused predominantly on options in the amendment that could modify allocations of the commercial summer flounder quota to the states. The current commercial allocations were last modified in 1993 and are perceived by some as outdated given their basis in 1980-1989 landings data. The amendment proposes three sets of alternatives for modifying the current state-by-state allocations. After reviewing public comments on these options, the administrative Commissioner from New York introduced a motion that would have allowed states to submit additional commercial quota allocation options for discussion in February 2019. While some Council and Board members offered support for the motion, others felt that it was too late in the process to introduce new alternatives and that the existing options adequately address the purpose of the amendment. After a lengthy discussion, the motion was defeated due to lack of majority from the Council.

Given the limited time available to discuss the remaining issues addressed in the amendment, the Council and Board voted to postpone final action until their next joint meeting, to be held February 11-14, 2019 in Virginia Beach, VA. Additional information about this action is available at: http://www.mafmc.org/actions/summer-flounder-amendment.

Questions? Contact Kiley Dancy, Fishery Management Specialist, kdancy@mafmc.org, (302) 526-5257.

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Council Meeting in Annapolis, MD: December 10-13, 2018

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's meeting to be held December 10-13 in Annapolis, MD. The meeting will be held at Westin Annapolis (100 Westgate Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Telephone 410-972-4300).

Meeting Materials: Briefing documents will be posted at http://ww.mafmc.org/briefing/december-2018 as they become available.

Public Comments: Written comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on November 28 to be included in the Council meeting briefing book. Comments received after this deadline but before 5:00 p.m. on December 6 will be posted as “supplemental materials” on the Council meeting web page. After that date, all comments must be submitted using an online comment form available at available at http://www.mafmc.org/public-comment.

Webinar: For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest at: http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/december2018.

Agenda

Monday, December 10th  

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Executive Committee Meeting (CLOSED)

  • Ricks E Savage Award

1:30 p.m. Council Convenes

1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Council Photo

1:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Risk Policy Framework

  • Final results of Summer Flounder Economic Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE), Doug Lipton - NMFS

  • Discuss next steps

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Law Enforcement Workshop Report

  • Report on Law Enforcement/For-Hire Workshop (November 13-14, 2018)

  • Review workshop summary and develop recommendations on further actions

Tuesday, December 11th

9:00 a.m. Council Meeting with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Boards

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Discussion of Potential 2019 Mid-Year Revisions for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass

  • Discuss timeline for revising 2019 summer flounder specifications

  • Discuss potential for mid-year revisions to 2019 black sea bass and scup specifications, including timing of 2019 operational assessment

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Black Sea Bass 2019 Recreational Specifications

  • Review recent fishery performance, Monitoring Committee and Advisory Panel recommendations

  • Adopt recommendations for 2019 federal waters recreational management measures

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Scup 2019 Recreational Specifications

  • Review recent fishery performance, Monitoring Committee and Advisory Panel recommendations

  • Adopt recommendations for 2019 federal waters recreational management measures

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Summer Flounder 2019 Recreational Specifications

  • Review recent fishery performance, Monitoring Committee recommendations and Advisory Panel recommendations

  • Discuss timeline for developing 2019 recreational measures in early 2019 based on benchmark assessment results

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Framework and Addendum XXXI on Conservation Equivalency, Block Island Sound Transit, and Slot Limits

  • Take final action

4:00 p.m. End of Joint Meeting for the Day

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Board-Only Meeting on Addendum XXXII for Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Recreational Management

  • Take final action

Wednesday, December 12th

9:00 a.m. Council Meeting with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Boards

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Summer Flounder Commercial Issues and Goals and Objectives Amendment

  • Take final action

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Revised Stock Assessment Process, NEFSC

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m. Presentation on Summer Flounder F-Based Management MSE

  • Review preliminary results of MSE to explore F-based recreational management, G. Fay and J. McNamee

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Black Sea Bass Amendment and Review of Progress on Commission’s Strategic Plan for Black Sea Bass

  • Discuss initiation of an amendment including identification of issues to consider

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Research Steering Committee Report

  • Report on Research Steering Committee Webinar (November 27, 2018)

  • Discuss recommendations from the meeting

5:00 p.m. End of Joint Meeting

Thursday, December 13th

9:00 a.m. Council Convenes

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team Report, Michael Asaro - NMFS

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 2019 Implementation Plan

  • Review and approve 2019 Implementation Plan

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Business Session

  • Committee Reports

    • Scientific and Statistical Committee Report

    • Executive Committee

  • Executive Director's Report, Chris Moore

  • Organization Reports

    • NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Office

    • NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center

    • NOAA Office of General Counsel

    • NOAA Office of Law Enforcement

    • US Coast Guard

    • Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

  • Liaison Reports

    • New England Council

    • South Atlantic Council

  • Continuing and New Business

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Mid-Atlantic Council Solicits Public Input on Chub Mackerel Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Council is soliciting public input on a draft amendment to address management and conservation of chub mackerel off the U.S. east coast. Five public hearings will be held between December 3, 2018 and January 14, 2019. Written comments will be accepted through January 18, 2019.

MAFMC to Host Workshop Addressing Law Enforcement Issues in For-Hire Fisheries

Tuesday, November 13, 12:00 p.m. – Wednesday, November 14, 4:00 p.m.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Philadelphia Airport
9000 Bartram Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19153
Phone: 215-796-6001 
Room Block: Online reservations, Group Name: Mid-Atlantic Fishery, Group Code: MAF (October 16 cutoff)

Details and Registration: http://www.mafmc.org/workshop/law-enforcement-for-hire-workshop


The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will host a workshop November 13-14 (Law Enforcement/ For-Hire Workshop) to identify issues related to law enforcement in for-hire fisheries and sale by recreational anglers of tilefish and tuna and to develop potential solutions. Specifically, the workshop will address:

  1. Operator versus angler (client) responsibility for fisheries violations that occur on for-hire vessels and law enforcement options for addressing these.

  2. Issues related to the sale of fish by private recreational anglers (particularly golden tilefish and tunas) focusing on the need for vessels selling fish to comply with U.S. Coast Guard requirements and/or Federal permits that allow for the sale of fish.

Recommendations coming from this workshop will be presented during the Council’s December meeting for formal discussion. State and federal fisheries law enforcement, as well as operators of for-hire vessels and private vessels fishing for tuna or tilefish along the Atlantic who may have encountered these issues, may want to participate.

The workshop is open to the public and free to attend but pre-registration is requested to ensure adequate meeting facilities. For more information and to register, visit http://www.mafmc.org/workshop/law-enforcement-for-hire-workshop.

Request for Proposals For a Study to Document the Distribution of Surfclams in the US Northwest Atlantic

The Council is seeking a highly-qualified contractor to document the distributions of Spisula solidissima similis and Spisula solidissima solidissima in the nearshore waters of the US Northwest Atlantic.