NEFSC to Hold Cooperative Research Engagement Sessions

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Cooperative Research Branch is holding a series of workshops in August and September to hear from fisheries stakeholders throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England.

Commercial eVTR Framework Webinar - Tuesday 7/23 at 8:30 a.m.

The Council will hold a webinar on Tuesday, July 23 at 8:30 a.m. to provide an update on the Commercial eVTR Framework and to review the available eVTR applications. This action could require electronic submission of Vessel Trip Reports (VTRs) for commercial permit holders. Participants will also have an opportunity to provide input on specific issues, such as the timing for submitting eVTRs.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019, 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

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The updated eVTR framework document with action alternatives will be posted to the MAFMC eVTR webinar event page later this week.

For more information, contact Karson Coutre, (302) 526-5259.

Mid-Atlantic Council to Hold Public Hearings for Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Excessive Shares Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold four public hearings in August and September 2019 to solicit public input on the Draft Excessive Shares Amendment. The Council is also soliciting written comments on the amendment through September 14, 2019.

NOAA Announces 2019 Recreational Measures for Summer Flounder

NOAA Fisheries has announced a final rule to implement conservation equivalency for the 2019 summer flounder recreational fishery. This means that the federal recreational bag limit, minimum fish size, and fishing season are waived, and vessel owners are subject to regulations in the state where they land. A summary of 2019 summer flounder measures by state is available here. Please contact your state for information on summer flounder regulations that apply to you.

Note that black sea bass and scup recreational measures for 2019 are unchanged from 2018.


Fishermen: Contact Emily Gilbert, Regional Office, 978-281-9244

Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, 978-281-9175

Clarification: Golden Tilefish Recreational Closure in South Atlantic Waters

On June 12 NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office announced that the 2019 recreational fishing season for golden tilefish in South Atlantic federal waters would close on June 17, 2019. This closure only applies to the recreational fishery in federal waters south of the Virginia/North Carolina border.

The recreational golden tilefish fishery managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council in federal waters north of the VA/NC border is not closed.

For additional information about the South Atlantic golden tilefish closure, please see the bulletin posted on the Southeast Regional Office website, or visit the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council website.

For information about management of golden tilefish in the Mid-Atlantic (north of the VA/NC border), please visit

Saltonstall-Kennedy 2020 Grant Application Now Open

June 3, 2019 – The following was released by NOAA Fisheries:

NOAA Fisheries is pleased to announce the 2020 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant competition is currently open

The goal of the Saltonstall-Kennedy program is to fund projects that address the needs of fishing communities, optimize economic benefits by building and maintaining sustainable fisheries, and increase other opportunities to keep working waterfronts viable. The FY20 solicitation seeks applications that fall into one of two priorities:

  • Promotion, Development, and Marketing.

  • Science or Technology that Promotes Sustainable U.S. Seafood Production and Harvesting.

Application Process

This year's solicitation consists of two steps:

  1. All interested applicants must submit a two-page pre-proposal to the Federal Funding Opportunity posted on by July 30, 2019. Please be sure to submit your pre-proposal to the “Pre-proposals FY20 Saltonstall-Kennedy” link.

  2. Applicants submitting a full application after the pre-proposal review process must submit it to the "Full Proposals FY20 Saltonstall-Kennedy” link on by November 12, 2019.

Be sure to read the Federal Funding Opportunity and follow the directions closely, and take advantage of our checklist and guidance for applicants.


Contact Susan Olsen, Regional Office, 978-281-9330.

NOAA Fisheries Revises 2019 Summer Flounder Specifications

May 16, 2019 - The following was released by NOAA Fisheries:

Today, we are announcing increases to the summer flounder catch and landings limits for the 2019 fishing year in response to new information from a benchmark stock assessment.

Final assessment results became available to managers in February 2019. The assessment included the incorporation of revised Marine Recreational Information Program estimates of recreational catch, which has an important impact on estimated spawning stock biomass for summer flounder. The assessment determined that the summer flounder stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring, enabling us to increase catch and landing limits for 2019 .

Table 1: Summary of Previous and Revised 2019 Summer Flounder Fishery Specifications, in millions of pounds.


This action also revises the previous commercial fishery accountability measures  in response to the improved status of the stock. We are revising the previously implemented accountability measure for a 2017 overage from 1.04 million pounds to 547,000 pounds. With this new accountability measure applied, the commercial Annual Catch Target is reduced from 13.53 to 12.98 million pounds. Commercial state allocations for summer flounder are also revised (see bulletin for additional details).

This action does not change the current commercial management measures, including the minimum fish size (14-inch total length), gear requirements, and possession limits. The 2019 recreational management measures for summer flounder are being developed in a separate concurrent action.

For more information read the rule as filed in the Federal Register or the bulletin posted on our website.


Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, 978-281-9175
Fishermen: Contact Cynthia Ferrio, Regional Office, 978-281-9180

NOAA Fisheries Announces 2019-2021 Spiny Dogfish Fishery Specifications

May 14, 2019 - The following was released by NOAA Fisheries:

We are approving and implementing the final 2019 and projected 2020-2021 specifications for the spiny dogfish fishery, as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils.

The specifications for the 2019 spiny dogfish fishery are a 46-percent reduction from fishing year 2018 to ensure overfishing does not occur. However, these quotas are projected to increase in 2020 and 2021 as the spiny dogfish biomass is expected to increase and the risk of overfishing declines. Below is a summary of the specifications. All other fishery management measures, including the 6,000-lb federal trip limit, will remain unchanged for fishing years 2019-2021.

Summary of Final 2019 and Projected 2020 and 2021 Spiny Dogfish Fishery Specifications, in metric tons. 

Commercial Quota9,30910,52112,438
Percent Change in Quota from Previous Year-46+13+18

For more details read the rule as filed in the Federal Register or the bulletin posted on our website.


Fishermen: Contact Cynthia Ferrio, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 978-281-9180
Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, 978-281-9175

SAFMC Schedules Scoping Webinars to Gather Input on Adding Bullet and Frigate Mackerel to the Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plan

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold public scoping webinars on May 7 and 9 to gather public input on whether to add bullet mackerel and frigate mackerel as ecosystem component species in the Dolphin Wahoo FMP.     

Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network Seeking Stakeholder Perspectives on Ocean Acidification

The Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN), in collaboration with Rutgers University, is seeking perspectives on ocean acidification from stakeholders with fishing and aquaculture interests in the Mid-Atlantic. MACAN’s Stakeholder Outreach Survey is available online through June 14, 2019.

Request for Public Input on Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Individual Transferable Quota Program Review

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is seeking public comments on a review of the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) Program. Comments are due by May 8, 2019.