Mid-Atlantic Council and ASMFC to Hold Summer Flounder Scoping Hearings

The Mid-Atlantic Council and the ASMFC have scheduled fourteen scoping hearings September 29 – October 22 to gather public input on the range of issues to be considered in the Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment.

New Assessment Determines that Butterfish Are Not Overfished

Last month the Northeast Fisheries Science Center released a new butterfish stock assessment which concluded that the stock is not overfished and that overfishing is not occurring. The fishery's status had previously been characterized as "unknown."

An Open Letter to Federal Fishery Permit Holders in the Northeast Regarding Observers and At-Sea Monitors

Today, leadership from NOAA Fisheries Northeast and the chairmen of the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils issued an open letter to the fishing industry urging cooperation and respect for fishery observers and at-sea monitors during what is a difficult fishing year for many.  Read more...

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Revises 2013 Black Sea Bass Catch Limits

Last week the Council approved an acceptable biological catch (ABC) limit of 5.5 million pounds for black sea bass for both 2013 and 2014. If approved by NMFS, the ABC would result in a recreational harvest limit of 2.26 million pounds and a commercial quota of 2.17 million pounds.

CFRF Offers Mid-Atlantic Fishermen Bycatch Avoidance Gear Modification Vouchers

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation is currently administering a voucher program for fishing vessel owners to obtain financial assistance to install one or both promising gear modifications onboard their vessels for use in small mesh fisheries (including squid, whiting, and scup) to avoid unwanted bycatch of winter flounder.  

ACCSP Seeks Fishing Industry's Input on Electronic Reporting

The Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) has brought together fishermen, dealers, and fisheries managers to evaluate electronic reporting on the Atlantic coast. The first part of this project is a survey to collect attitudes and opinions from Atlantic coast fishermen and dealers about the current state of electronic reporting.

Council Seeks Public Input on Deep Sea Coral Protection

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has scheduled two scoping hearings for the public to provide comments on Amendment 16 to the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish fishery management plan. 

Council Passes Hurricane Sandy Resolution

​During the most recent Council meeting, more than 40 members of the public turned out in person or online to ask questions and discuss the storm's impacts with Council members and National Marine Fisheries Service representatives. The next day, the Council unanimously approved a resolution of support for the federal fisheries disaster declaration in the Mid-Atlantic region following Hurricane Sandy (full text below).  The resolution was introduced by Chairman Rick Robins and was passed unanimously by the full Council.

Council Considers Black Sea Bass Overage and 2013 Management Measures

​At last week’s meeting in Baltimore, MD, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council considered a number of issues related to the recreational black sea bass fishery. The fishery closed on November 1 after preliminary landings estimates indicated that the harvest limit had been exceeded. This closure prompted concerns related to the black sea bass stock assessment and the current accountability measures that could result in a recreational fishery closure in 2014.