During the early 1990s fishermen and dealers in the monkfish fishery addressed both the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils with concerns about the increasing amount of small fish being landed, the increasing frequency of gear conflicts between monkfish vessels and those in other fisheries and the expanding directed trawl fishery. In response, the Councils developed a joint fishery management plan that took effect in November 1999.
The FMP is designed to stop overfishing and rebuild the stocks through a number of measures, including: limiting the number of vessels with access to the fishery and allocating days-at-sea those vessels; setting trip limits for vessels fishing for monkfish; minimum fish size limits; gear restrictions; mandatory time out of the fishery during the spawning season; and a framework adjustment process.
The Monkfish Fishery Management Plan is managed jointly by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. The New England Fishery Management Council has the lead for developing measures in the monkfish fishery management plan. Please visit https://www.nefmc.org/management-plans/monkfish for up-to-date information related to monkfish management.