Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office Transitions to New Website

September 30, 2019 - The following was released by NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office:

We are very pleased to announce that as of today, we are formally launching a new website for the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and our old website is offline.

What about my bookmarks to your website?

Everyone will be automatically redirected to our new homepage or associated topic page. We looked at our website analytics and created automatic redirects from frequently visited pages on our old website to the corresponding pages of our new website. For example, if you have our Atlantic spiny dogfish page bookmarked, you will automatically be sent to the Atlantic spiny dogfish species profile on our new site. However, be sure to update your bookmarks and links as you navigate through the new site.

Why are we making this transition?

NOAA Fisheries launched a new and improved website two years ago that was developed based upon feedback from our customers and taking a hard look at our website analytics. The goals of the new site are to captivate our visitors, make it easier for users to search for information and navigate through our website, make our website mobile friendly, and improve the quality of our content.

Not sure where to start? Check out this video tutorial.

Although the bulk of the work is done, we are still transitioning some lesser viewed pages. So please be patient with us! We appreciate continued feedback, and want to know if you have suggestions for improvement, find broken links, or simply can’t find something you’re looking for.

Comments or questions?

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

Monkfish Research Set-Aside Program Seeks Research Proposals

August 1, 2019 - The following was released by NOAA Fisheries:

Competition for monkfish research support has opened under the Monkfish Research Set Aside Program. Projects selected through the competition are awarded fishing days rather than dollars, and the proceeds generated from those days are used to fund the research.

This year’s priorities include monkfish life history; stock structure; relative abundance; surveys; bycatch and discard mortality; interactions with other species; gear studies; ecological studies; and trophic research.

Monkfish are one of the highest valued finfish in the Northeast. This federal fishery is managed primarily by limiting the number of days and trips that the fleet can use to target this species. Under the monkfish management plan, 500 of the allowable days-at-sea are “set aside” annually by the councils and then awarded through this federal grant competition.

NOAA Fisheries and the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils have managed the Monkfish Research Set Aside Program since 2006. Since then, 27 projects have been conducted under this program.

In addition to the monkfish, there are active RSA programs for Atlantic sea scallop and Atlantic herring.  RSA programs support applied research that responds to priorities established by the fishery management councils, and are designed to inform resource management decisions and improve stock assessments.

To learn more and apply, visit


Media: Contact Cheryl Corbett, Cooperative Programs Specialist

NOAA Fisheries Implements Squid and Butterfish Quotas for the 2019 Fishing Year

The following was released by NOAA Fisheries:

Based on updated information, we increased the commercial Illex squid quota by 8-percent for 2019. We also maintained the previously approved 2019 annual quotas for longfin squid and butterfish by continuing the existing longfin squid quota, and increasing the butterfish commercial quota by 66 percent.

The increased 2019 Illex quota is based on an evaluation that similar historic catch has not harmed the stock. As new information becomes available, we may revise the proposed quotas for future fishing years.

Read the final rule that filed today in the Federal Register and the bulletin posted on our website. Supporting documents for this rule are available on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s website.


Supporting Documents:

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.

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

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.     

NOAA Fisheries Sets 2019 Specifications for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass

Effective January 1, 2019

NOAA Fisheries sets 2019 catch limits for the summer flounder and black sea bass fisheries and maintains the 2019 scup specifications that were established in 2017.

The summer flounder specifications will result in a 16-percent increase in the recreational harvest limit. Due to commercial overages that occurred in 2017, an accountability measure will be applied to the commercial quota that will result in a commercial quota that is similar to that in place for 2018.

For black sea bass, we are implementing the same specifications that were in place for 2018. We are also reopening the February black sea bass recreational fishery.

The scup specifications for 2019 are identical to those in place for 2018. We are also increasing the incidental possession limit for scup moratorium permit holders using small mesh from April 15-June 15.

A new assessment for summer flounder will be finalized in early 2019; any adjustment to the summer flounder specifications as a result will be taken up by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Additional information will be sent outlining any changes being implemented mid-year. 

Read the final rule as filed in the Federal Register and the permit holder bulletin posted on our website.


Fishermen: Emily Gilbert, (978) 281-9244

Media: Jennifer Goebel, 978-281-9175

NOAA Fisheries Announces Commercial Harvest Quotas for Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog

November 6, 2018 - The following was released by NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Office:

For fishing year 2019 (January 1–December 31, 2019), the quota will remain 3.4 million bushels for surfclams, 5.33 million bushels for ocean quahogs, and 100,000 Maine bushels for Maine ocean quahogs.

These quotas are unchanged from fishing year 2018. In addition, as was the case for the last 14 years, the minimum size limit for surfclams is being suspended for the 2019 fishing year. 

These measures become effective on January 1, 2019.

To get all the details, read the final rule as filed in the Federal Register today and the permit holder bulletin posted on our website.


Fishermen: Contact Douglas Potts at 978-281-9341 

Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel at 978-281-9175

Comment Period Open on Proposed Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial Accountability Measure Modifications

NOAA Fisheries proposes to revise the commercial accountability measures applicable to the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries when overages are caused by discards. The comment period is open through September 10, 2018.

South Atlantic Council to Hold Public Scoping Webinars

The following information is being posted on behalf of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council as it may be of interest to some Mid-Atlantic stakeholders.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has scheduled a series of public scoping webinars from August 6 through August 16 to provide an opportunity for public comment on the following issues: (1) Snapper Grouper Charter/Headboat (For-Hire) Federal Permit Modifications under Snapper Grouper Amendment 47; (2) Best Fishing Practices under Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 29; and (3) Yellowtail Snapper Accountability Measures under Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 32.  Copies of scoping documents, video presentations, links for webinar registration, public comment forms, and other information will be posted to the Council’s website at: as it becomes available. Written comments will be accepted until August 17, 2018.

Questions? Contact Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer at or Cameron Rhodes, Outreach Specialist at