Tag Archives: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council

After a record run of squid, local fishermen warily eye competition, regulatory challenges

It was the best single run of longfin squid anyone on the East Coast had ever seen – and it happened fast and was over fast. In two months last summer, June and July, the East Coast-based squid fleet landed approximately 14 million pounds, with Rhode Island landing more than 50 percent of that quota, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration landing reports. “I’ve never seen anything like it. The squid just kept coming,” said Point Judith fisherman Jeff Wise of Narragansett. “I’ve never seen volume and catch rates that high before.”,,,Three policy issues surfaced in recent months that could affect Rhode Island squid vessels and processors. One concerns managing the number of squid permits allowed, an issue perennially raised by the commercial fishing industry. The other two concern the possible loss of fishing ground – one by proposed wind farms off Long Island, and the other from lobbying pressure for a buffer zone in a key squid area south of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Big read! Read the article here 07:47

MAFMC & ASMFC Set Black Sea Bass Specs for 2017-18 – Benchmark Assessment Finds Resource Not Overfished & Overfishing Not Occurring

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) have approved revised specifications for the 2017 black sea bass fishing year as well as specifications for the 2018 fishing year for the Northern black sea bass stock (Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to the US-Canadian border). The revised specifications are based on the results of the 2016 benchmark stock assessment, which found the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. The approved limits are consistent with the recommendations of the Council’s Science and Statistical Committee. The Commission’s actions are final and apply to state waters (0-3 miles from shore). The Council will forward its recommendations for federal waters (3 – 200 miles from shore) to NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Administrator for final approval. Read the rest here 11:23

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina: February 14-16, 2017

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s February 2017 meeting to be held February 14-16, 2017 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Kitty Hawk, 5353 N. Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949. Webinar: For online access to the meeting, Click here  Meeting Materials: Briefing documents will be posted as they become available. Click here 11:10

Catch Share Program Review for the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Individual Transferrable Quota Fisheries

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) is accepting proposals to conduct a Catch Share Program Review of the present and past social and economic conditions in the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog (SCOQ) fisheries which are managed using individual transferrable quotas (ITQs). Section 303A(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) includes requirements for the regular monitoring and review of the operations of catch share programs by the Council and the Secretary of Commerce. In 1977, the Council developed a fishery management plan for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries in federal waters. These fisheries were initially managed using a combination of limited entry restrictions, fishing quotas, and time limits to constrain landings and distribute fishing effort throughout the fishing year. In 1990, the Council developed an ITQ program that was implemented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries. The fisheries have been operating under this program since then. Read the Request for Proposals (RFP) – Closing Date: March 31, 2017  12:21

Controversial flounder plan could get final approval Thursday

A proposal to drastically reduce this year’s summer flounder catch could get final approval at a federal regulatory meeting Thursday morning in Virginia. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Committee is scheduled consider strategies that would reduce the summer flounder harvest by up to 41 percent coast-wide and implement tighter restrictions on bag and size limits for recreational fishermen. It’s a proposal that has been met with widespread criticism in New Jersey—from recreational fishermen, both U.S. Senators, multiple other politicians and even the head of the state Department of Environmental Protection. In August, the ASMFC and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council set the summer flounder harvest limit at an all-time low in response to the most recent stock assessment, and, last month, the regulatory bodies approved a set of options to meet that goal. Read the rest of the story here 21:27

Fluke Cut Rally scheduled for Friday, 10 am at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach

A rally against the proposed cuts to the summer flounder harvest is planned for this Friday morning in the parking lot of Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach. Along with members of the fishing community, the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection Bob Martin and U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) will lead the rally and speak in opposition to the harvest reduction. Both Martin and Pallone have been critical of the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management for their proposed drastic cuts to the summer flounder harvest. Pallone has been outspoken against the science used to count fish landings and stock biomass that has led those management bodies to conclude that anglers overfished their quota last year and the biomass of summer flounder is shrinking. Read the rest here 12:32

Coral plan threatens fishing grounds

 The NEFMC is working with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to preserve deep-sea corals from the Canadian border to Virginia. Area lobstermen could lose valuable fishing grounds if a federal proposal to close four areas of Gulf of Maine waters comes to fruition. The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) has drafted a plan that would close a span of 161 square miles offshore to commercial fishing in an effort to conserve deep-sea coral there. Two of those areas, Mount Desert Rock in Lobster Management Zone B and Outer Schoodic Ridge in Lobster Management Zone A, are preferred fishing grounds for local fishermen when lobster head further offshore in the winter. The other proposed offshore closure areas lie in Jordan Basin and Lindenkohl Knoll to the south.  Read the story here 09:34

Party boat captains irate over summer flounder cuts

Few things are causing more ire among recreational fishermen than the summer flounder cuts. Some party boat captains have called it “nail in the coffin” measures that are being taken by fishery management that starts from the top down with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It seems that every time we make a sacrifice there ends up being less boats on the water. It seems like they want us off the water,” said Gambler party boat owner and captain Bob Bogan. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is recommending a 3.77 million pound recreational harvest limit for 2017. That’s down from 5.42 million in 2016. Read the story here 18:32

NMFS Final Rule on Mid-Atlantic Council’s Frank R. Lautenberg Deep Sea Coral Protection Area

The Council approved the Deep Sea Corals Amendment to the Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish Fishery Management Plan in 2015 in order to protect deep sea corals from the impacts of bottom-tending fishing gear. Within the protected area, commercial fishermen are prohibited from using most types of bottom-tending fishing gear such as trawls, dredges, bottom longlines, and traps. The rule does not apply to recreational fishing, commercial gear types that do not contact the sea floor, or the American lobster trap fishery. An exemption is provided for the deep sea red crab commercial trap fishery. Vessels may transit through the area if fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use. Development of the deep sea coral protection area was informed by several recent scientific research efforts undertaken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, including several deep sea surveys and the development of a predictive deep sea coral habitat suitability model. Using this information, the landward boundaries for the protected area were developed cooperatively by members of the Council’s advisory panels, deep sea coral experts, fishing industry members, and other stakeholders. Read the rest here with links to Fed Register 11:35

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Baltimore, Maryland: December 12-15, 2016

MAFMC SidebarThe public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s December 2016 meeting to be held December 12-15, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. The meeting will be held at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court, 550 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21202, Telephone 410-234-0550. Webinar: For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest click here    .  Meeting Materials: Briefing documents click here  as they become available. Agenda click here  13:04

Effort to protect deep-sea coral has lobster industry on alert

10042762_h13584979-600x450Over 400 Maine lobstermen could lose their traditional fishing territory under a proposal to protect deep-sea corals in the Gulf of Maine. The New England Fishery Management Council is considering a plan that would ban fishing in four designated coral zones spanning about 161 miles of federal waters in the Gulf of Maine – Mount Desert Rock, Outer Schoodic Ridge, Jordan Basin and Lindenkohl Knoll. Here, often on steep rock walls deep under water where sunlight cannot penetrate, scientists have found dense, delicate and slow-growing coral gardens of sea whips, fans and pens. During the cold-weather months, when 52-year-old Jim Dow usually fishes for hard-shell lobsters in deep federal waters, his buoys will encircle Mount Desert Rock, where the lobster is so plentiful that boats will sail for hours to drop traps there. As a result, fishermen call it the Meeting Grounds. He said word is just starting to spread about the coral protection plan, but he said the fishermen he has talked with say they didn’t even know there was coral in the deep canyons below. Read the rest here 10:16

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Galloway, NJ, Oct 4-6, 2016 – Listen Live!

mafmc-sidebarThe public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s October meeting to be held at the Stockton Seaview Hotel, 401 South New York Road, Galloway, NJ. Read the  Council Meeting Agenda, For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest Click here 17:20

Further cut in fluke quota puts Stonington fishermen, wholesaler in peril

Imagine one of the breadwinners in a typical two-earner household is suddenly hit with a 26 percent pay cut. Then, just as the family has adjusted to the leaner budget, the same worker’s pay gets lopped another 30 percent. Their landlord already has reduced their rent, and the family has cut corners wherever they could, so how will they make ends meet now? That’s basically the question Mike Gambardella, owner of Gambardella Wholesale Fish at Stonington Town Dock, is asking himself. He faces a new 30 percent reduction in the supply of fluke, one of his main products, next year, following the 26 percent cut he’s already dealing with this year that’s cost him about $100,000 in revenue. It also forced him to lay off one of his workers and reduce pay for himself and his remaining six workers, and negotiate reduced rent on the building he rents from the town. “At this point,” he said Thursday, “we’re fighting a losing battle. If I lose another $100,000 next year, I can’t afford to stay in business.” The new 30 percent cut in the supply of fluke — also called summer flounder — was announced Aug. 15 by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which regulates fluke and other species for the East Coast along with a larger body, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, but the council basically has the controlling authority. Read the story here 11:14

Search for a Scapegoat: Offshore Trawler Bycatch Suspected in Disappearance of Shad

shadMid-Atlantic fisheries regulators are weighing whether to take additional steps to protect American shad and river herring as they migrate along the East Coast, as some new research suggests significant numbers of herring may be accidentally netted by offshore trawlers. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is scheduled to receive a staff-written white paper this month reviewing whether to move toward imposing tighter limits on the amount of shad and river herring that could be caught by offshore fleets pursuing another species, Atlantic mackerel. The council, which regulates commercial fishing within federal waters from New York to North Carolina, plans to make a decision at its October meeting. “We’ve got industrial-scale fishing vessels targeting mackerel and Atlantic herring in the southern New England area, and we barely have any observer coverage on those vessels,” complains Roger Fleming, a lawyer with Earthjustice. “Some of those vessels can hold up to 1 million pounds of fish. . . . They can virtually wipe out a river herring stock in one tow [of the net].” Read the story here 12:20

MAFMC and ASMFC Actions on Black Sea Bass, Bluefish, Scup and Summer Flounder

10.summer-flounderLast week the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) reviewed previously implemented specifications for scup, black sea bass and bluefish fisheries and modified specifications for summer flounder. The Commission’s actions are final and apply to state waters. The Council will forward its federal waters recommendations regarding summer flounder specifications to NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Administrator for final approval. For summer flounder, both groups approved a commercial quota of 5.66 million pounds and a recreational harvest limit of 3.77 million pounds for 2017, an approximate 30% decrease from 2016. This decrease in catch and landings limits responds to the findings of the 2016 stock assessment update, which indicates summer flounder has been experiencing overfishing since 2008. Read the rest here 12:06

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Virginia Beach, VA August 8 – 11, 2016

MAFMC-SidebarThe public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s April meeting to be held at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 3001 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, Telephone 757-213-3000.  Council Meeting Agenda, For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest Click here 07:12

Connecticut lawmakers call on inspector general to investigate fishing regulations

PrintU.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both D-Conn., along with U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Second District, on Tuesday called on the inspector general of the Department of Commerce to investigate what they call an inequity in regulations that puts New England fishermen at a disadvantage. “We write to raise a growing concern of our constituents in the fishing industry who are facing extreme economic hardship related to the structure of fisheries management across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic,” wrote Blumenthal, Murphy and Courtney. “On several occasions during town halls and meetings in Connecticut with many of the fishermen who operate in the state, we have repeatedly heard concerns that black sea bass, summer flounder, and scup have migrated northward, but the state-by-state allocations for these species still reflect historical numbers when they were in greater abundance in the mid-Atlantic,” the lawmakers wrote. Read the rest here 18:53

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is in session in Newark, DE Jun 13-16 2016

MAFMC SidebarThe public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s April meeting to be held at the Courtyard Marriott Newark Montauk Yacht Club, 400 David Hollowell Dr Newark, DE, Council Meeting Agenda, For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest Click here 13:40

‘Fraught With Defects’, Connecticut Lawmakers Urge Reforms To Fishing Regulations

excaliburConnecticut’s congressional delegation is leading a renewed push for reform of federal commercial fishing quotas critics say are out of date, wasteful, fail to respond to climate change and unfair to New England fishermen. Warming ocean temperatures are pushing vast numbers of fish like black bass, summer flounder and scup farther north into New England waters, according to the delegation’s letter to federal officials, but old fishing quotas severely restrict how many of those fish commercial boats from this region are allowed to keep. The out-of-date quota system means that fishermen from North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland are allowed to take much larger numbers of those types of fish, even when they come to New England’s offshore waters to net them, according to a joint letter by Connecticut and Massachusetts members of Congress. Read the rest here 20:15

Changing Migration Patterns Upend East Coast Fishing Industry

BN-NY466_NYFISH_P_20160509210030Summer flounder that once amassed in North Carolina have gradually shifted about 140 miles to New Jersey—one facet of the northward migration of fish species that is upending traditional fishing patterns. The move north has sparked debate among regulators over how to respond to changing natural resources that could affect commercial fisheries across the eastern seaboard. For the first time, a group of researchers backed by the federal government is trying to ascertain what the northward movement means for fishermen’s income and way of life. “Some fisherman will end up losing out and some will win big,” Read the rest here 13:04

Mid Atlantic Council Approves Changes to Scup Gear-Restricted Areas

scupDuring a meeting in Montauk, New York the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved a framework action to modify the boundary of one of the region’s two Scup Gear Restricted Areas (GRAs). The proposed change to the Southern Scup GRA boundary is expected to increase the availability of longfin squid to small-mesh fisheries. The GRAs were implemented in 2000 and are intended to reduce discard mortality of juvenile scup. The current GRA regulations include a Northern GRA, which is effective from November 1 through December 31, and a Southern GRA, which is effective from January 1 through March 15. Trawl vessels which fish for or possess longfin squid, black sea bass, or silver hake (also known as whiting) are required to use mesh 5 inches or larger in the GRAs during those times of the year. Read the rest here 07:40

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Montauk April 11- April 14, 2016

MAFMC SidebarThe public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s April meeting to be held at the Montauk Yacht Club, 21 Star Island Road, Montauk NY . Council Meeting Agenda, For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest Click here 16:36

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Announces Funded Collaborative Research Projects

MAFMC SidebarThe Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council announces that four research projects have been selected to receive a total of approximately $610,000 in funding as part of the Council’s 2016-2017 Collaborative Fisheries Research Program. The four projects each address research priorities identified by the Mid-Atlantic Council in a Request for Proposals distributed in December 2015. “Accurate information is the foundation of effective fisheries management,” said Council Chairman Rick Robins. “These research projects will help fill critical gaps in our understanding of Mid-Atlantic fisheries and ensure their continued sustainability.” Details on the selected projects are provided below. Click here for the details 18:36

Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting in New Bern, NC February 9 – 11, 2016

MAFMC LOGOThe public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s February, 2016 meeting on Tuesday,  in New Bern, NC . Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda click here   Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect Click here Listen Live! 12:15

NMFS Announces 2016-2018 Regs for Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass

nmfs_logoNOAA Fisheries NMFS announces the 2016-2018 regulations for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The summer flounder catch limit is reduced by 30 percent (from 23 million lbs to 16 million lbs) due to 4 years of below average recruitment (young fish entering the fishery). The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has requested a stock assessment update for next year. The scup catch limit is slightly reduced compared to 2015 levels, but is still well above recent catch. Read the rest here 12:45

NMFS Announces Control Date of December 14, 2015 for Mid Atlantic Blueline Tilefish Catch Share Fishery

My name and title is John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service

My name and title is John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service

NMFS, announces December 14, 2015 as the control date for commercial and for-hire fishermen regarding future entry ( catch shares)  into a blueline tilefish fishery managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.The blueline tilefish fishery south of the Virginia/North Carolina border is managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council as part of the Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan. The blueline tilefish fishery in the Mid-Atlantic has been unregulated and historically has had very low landings.  In order to prepare management measures for blueline tilefish in the Mid-Atlantic, the Council has asked us to set a “control date” for the commercial and for-hire recreational blueline tilefish fisheries. Read the notice here 13:05

 

Mid-Atlantic Council Votes to Reduce Spiny Dogfish Quota for 2016

MAFMC SidebarAt last week’s meeting in Philadelphia, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council recommended a substantial cut in the spiny dogfish commercial quota for next year. Following a review of the most recent scientific information, public comments, and advice from the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) and Spiny Dogfish Advisory Panel, the Council voted to set the 2016 commercial quota at 25.3 million pounds, a 50% reduction from the 2015 quota of 50.6 million pounds. If approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the new measure will,,, Read the rest here 17:20

UPDATED: Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting in Philadelphia, Oct 6,- 8, 2015

MAFMC SidebarBriefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda, click here  Complete Briefing Book, click here  Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect Click here  Webpage,  click here 20:29

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council – Scoping Hearings for Action on Unmanaged Forage Species

MAFMC SidebarThe Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has scheduled a series of scoping hearings to gather public input for a proposed action to protect unmanaged forage species. The proposed action would consider a prohibition on the development of new, or expansion of existing, directed fisheries on unmanaged forage species in the Mid-Atlantic until adequate scientific information is available to promote ecosystem sustainability. Eight hearings will be held between September 15, 2015 and October 1, 2015 in locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Written comments may also be submitted through October 2, 2015.   Dates and locations   Read the rest here 16:16

The Harvey Haddock Report – Fullabullard to Fishermen, DROP DEAD!

fullabullardAt a meeting here in NYC on august 12, 2015 the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted in favor of  economically devastating quota cuts in the summer flounder fishery of 29% for each of the next three years. 70  commercial and recreational fishermen were at the meeting to plea for a delay so the North East Fishery Science  center  could  review the  stock assessment data using different data inputs. But the council cowardly co towed to Fullabullard’s bullying and  rubber stamped the reductions. Read the rest here 18:28

NESC AGAIN is Questioned, Criticized as Mid Atlantic Council Cuts Fluke by more than 26 percent

Fluke Summer FlounderIt could have been worse. The initial proposal announced in July called for a 43 percent reduction. A lot of theories were thrown around at the meeting, ranging from illegal harvests to dogfish shark predation.Some wanted the panels’ science and statistical committees to take another look, which was part of the motions by Fote and Kaelin. Greg DiDomenico, director of the Cape May-based Garden State Seafood Association, said more than one-third of the time, new stock assessments show the older ones were wrong. Read the rest here 19:42

Next Year Will Be Awful Or Very Awful For Fluke Fisherman

Unless regulators provide a less abrupt alternative, the amount of fluke caught by Fluke Summer Flounder could be nearly cut in half by next year — a sudden drop that might seriously wound the charter fishing fleet in Sheepshead Bay. Captain Anthony DiLernia, one of New York’s representatives in the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, said lower-than-expected fluke stocks found during the fish population surveys will require slashing quotas by as much as 45 percent next season. However, DiLernia said the council is considering,,, Read the rest here 12:19

Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. bucks Mid Atlantic Council flounder reduction plan

Fluke Summer Flounder.“The implications and economic tragedies resulting from such a reduction will have resounding negative consequences on the entire East Coast,” Mr. Thiele said in a letter to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. He’s asked Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to start legal proceedings against the Fishery Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service challenging application of the quota allocation to New York. The data supporting the cutback is “based on old, incomplete and faulty information,” justifying legal action, Mr. Thiele said. Read the rest here 18:21

New Mid Atlantic Council recommendation revises fluke cuts

Fluke Summer FlounderA memo released by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council staff on Friday revised the earlier recommended fluke cuts downward from 43 percent to 25 percent for 2016. In making the revision, the Council staff recognized the substantial negative impact such a reduction would have on the recreational and commercial fisheries, the seafood industry and markets and fishing communities they support. Instead of the one-year plan called for in its initial memo, the Council staff is recommending a “phased in” approach,,, Read the rest here 11:57

Governor Cuomo Calls For Fair and Gradual Changes to Summer Flounder Fishery

Fluke Summer FlounderGovernor Cuomo called on the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council to reevaluate a potential 43 percent fluke harvest reduction for New York in 2016. The potential reduction would negatively affect both commercial and recreational fisheries in New York State. The potential reductions are based on several consecutive years of lower than average reproductive success and not as a result of overharvest in New York or elsewhere on the coast. Read the rest here 10:09

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Ready To SLASH Fluke Catch Quota

Fluke Summer FlounderA dramatic collapse in the reproduction of summer flounder off the East Coast may mean a sharp cut in the catch quota for both commercial and recreational fishermen next summer, according to a science committee on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. But a 43-percent cut in the quota has been proposed for a late July meeting of the council, when a decision is expected at that time. That would reduce this year’s quota of roughly 22 million pounds to just 12 million pounds next year. Read the rest here 17:10

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted Wednesday to protect deep sea corals

The squid industry, which initially objected to many of the restrictions, worked with scientists and conservationists to establish boundaries for 15 discrete deepwater canyons and other sites where bottom fishing would be prohibited. And in the end, said Gregory P. DiDomenico, the executive director of the Garden State Seafood Association, he supported the broader area that overlaps most of the canyons. He said, “If we stay in business and protect corals, we’ve done our job.” Read the rest here 08:23

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Virginia Beach, June 8 thru 11, 2015 – Listen Live

MAFMC SidebarThe public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s June 2015 meeting to be held at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 3001 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach, VA  . June 2015 Council Meeting Agenda, Complete Briefing Book, For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest Click here Kick off, 09:00 21:03

Fate of the blueline tilefishery is now in the hands of the National Marine Fisheries Service

nmfs_logoThe species grabbed anglers’ attention in February when the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council requested that NMFS take emergency action on bluelines when it learned commercial fishing boats out of North Carolina planned on landing tilefish in New Jersey to take advantage of a no-limit loophole. A week after the Mid-Atlantic made its request, The SAFMC directed its Science and Statistical Committee (SSC) to determine if its earlier assessment, SEDAR 32, was applicable to the entire Atlantic Coast. Read the rest here 13:11

Mid-Atlantic Council Initiates Action to Manage Blueline Tilefish

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted to move forward with development of measures for the long-term management of blueline tilefish in the Mid-Atlantic. The Council will consider several approaches, including creation of a new fishery management plan (FMP) and development of an amendment to add blueline tilefish to the existing Golden Tilefish FMP. Read the rest here 14:28

Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting Apr 14 – 16, 2015, in Long Branch, NJ,

MAFMC SidebarBriefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda, click here  Complete Briefing Book, click here  MAFMC Stock Status click here  Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect click here  Webpage,  click here 18:07

Latest twist in blueline tilefish tale

It appears that the management of blueline tilefish is turning into a battle of emergency actions.Last week, at the South Atlantic Management Council Meeting in Georgia, a motion was approved that directed the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee to determine if the stock assessment for the tilefish, SEDAR 32, was applicable to the entire range of the species. That includes the waters off New Jersey, which is under the jurisdiction of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. As of right now, there are no limits on tilefish here. Read the rest here 15:49:

Mid-Atlantic Council to Hold Workshop on Deep Sea Coral Zone Boundaries

MAFMC SidebarThe Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted during its meeting last week to postpone final action on its Deep Sea Corals Amendment in order to allow for further analysis of the alternatives and to provide additional opportunities for stakeholder input. In the coming months, the Council will convene a workshop with its advisory panels, coral experts, and other stakeholders to review and potentially refine the discrete protection areas being considered.  Read the rest here  Deep Sea Corals Amendment   11:26

No vote to protect deep-sea corals off Va and Mid-Atlantic

Council members meeting in Raleigh, N.C., decided instead to postpone a final decision until its June meeting in Virginia Beach, giving them time to hold another workshop to gather more input from coastal fisheries. The council is considering several options to restrict fishing in “broad zones” of the Atlantic based on ocean depth and in “discrete zones” already known to contain valuable coral habitats. Several members said they believe they’re close to an agreement with commercial fisheries on discrete zone boundaries but that another workshop could seal the deal. Read the rest here 17:02

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council looks at deep-sea restrictions

On Wednesday, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council likely will vote on a proposal to limit the use of bottom-fishing gear that is dragged along the ocean floor, often scouring the area of sea life. Any new limits would have to be approved by federal officials. Limits on fishing are often contentious, these even more so. They have drawn tens of thousands of comments – albeit most of them form letters prompted by environmental advocacy groups – from proponents who want the corals protected, Read the rest here 07:19

Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting, Raleigh, NC – Tue, Feb 10, thru Thu, Feb 12, 2015, Listen Live!

MAFMC SidebarThe public is invited to attend the meeting at Doubletree by Hilton Raleigh, 1707 Hillsborough St Raleigh, NC, 27605, or attend by webinar. Read the Agenda here Register here for adobe connect 09:19

Butterfish—Little Fish Big Science

For this assessment, scientists developed a new method for estimating fish abundance that takes changing environmental conditions into account, something that will become increasingly important as the climate changes and the oceans warm.,,, Much of that uncertainty was caused by the fact that butterfish shift their distribution in response to changing bottom water temperatures.,, The breakthrough came when scientists devised a way to account for the effect of bottom water temperature,,, Read the rest here 11:09

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting in Philadelphia, PA October 7-9, 2014 – Listen online

MAFMC SidebarThe public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s meeting on October 7 – 9, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The meeting will be held at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown Philadelphia. Access the briefing material here,  Meeting Agenda is here, For online access click here  12:18

Federal fisheries regulators holding LI hearings on fluke take

MAFMC SidebarASMFC SidebarRepresentatives from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council were in Montauk Tuesday night and will be in East Setauket Wednesday to solicit comments on the plan,, At the Montauk meeting, dozens of commercial fishermen blasted rules that reduce fluke quotas to 50 to 100 pounds a day and force those with federal permits to steam to faraway ports to land their fish. Read the rest here 10:34

Summer flounder fishing rules to get examined and overhauled

Summer flounder fishing rules for the Atlantic Ocean may get an overhaul. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is starting a process to prepare an environmental impact statement and plan a scoping process to change the fishery management. NMFS is announcing the effort in the Federal Register of Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. NMFS plans a series of 14 public scoping meetings where the public can speak between Sept. 22 and Oct. 29. Read the rest here 08:23

Catch Shares: Investment Firms are taking over the Fishing Rights

10172769-largedinkWhat does it take to buy a share of the American ocean? Policymakers assured the nation that fishing rights would never migrate out of U.S. control through catch shares or end up as properties of investment firms. Environmental groups have similarly touted catch shares as a tool for communities and fishermen and overlooked the role investors can and do play. As the Snow’s deal now makes clear, those pacifications are baloney. Read the rest here 22:29

If you have an opinion on fluke management, now is the time to make it known.

MAFMC_logo_4The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will be holding a series of scoping hearings to collect the public’s input on a broad range of issues to be considered for the Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment. Fourteen scoping meetings have been scheduled from Virginia through Massachusetts from the end of September through the third week in October. Read the rest here  09:48

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council – The August 2014 Council Meeting Report is now available

MAFMC_logo_4Issues Addressed: Deep Sea Coral Amendment – Research Set-Aside – Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications – Bluefish Specifications – Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment – Black Sea Bass Wave 1/May 1 Framework – Special Management Zones – Omnibus Amendment to Simplify Vessel Baselines – Listening Session: NOAA Fisheries’ Fishery-Dependent Data Visioning Project Read more here 14:35

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council suspends controversial research set-aside program

MAFMC_logo_4A federal fisheries council voted Tuesday to suspend for at least a year a controversial program that allows fishing boats to pay to extend their catch beyond legal limits. The move follows a year of criminal enforcement actions on Long Island related to the program that have resulted in five guilty pleas, and 70 subpoenas issued to other New York fishing interests in an ongoing federal probe. Read more here 13:38

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting in Washington, DC August 11-14, 2014

MAFMC_logo_4Monday  2:00 p.m. Council Convenes To review the Agenda Click here  Webinar Access: For online access during the meeting, enter as a guest at adpbeconnect here 18:57

Who knew? Rhode Island is King of squid; More pounds are brought to shore than any other seafood

seafreeze vesselsSquid is to Rhode Island what lobster is to Maine; cod is to Massachusetts. “Fifteen years ago, you didn’t see calamari on the menu,” says Glenn Goodwin, co-owner of Seafreeze in North Kingstown, a seafood freezing facility. “Now you see it everywhere. It was a low-cost item that was plentiful. It took some time for people to try it.” Read more here 14:02

Uncivil War Brews Over Summer Flounder as Waters Warm

assets-climatecentral-org-images-uploads-news-06-20-14_TDC_polewardshift_-350x364The summer flounder – one of the most sought-after catches on the U.S. East Coast – is stirring up a climate change battle as it glides through the sand and grasses at the bottom of a warming North Atlantic. Some scientists say in recent years the species has begun adapting in another way. As the Atlantic Ocean has warmed, they say, the fish have headed north. (like codfish? yellow tail flounder? hmm?) Read more here 10:05

Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting – June 10-12, Freehold, NJ – Listen Live

MAFMC_logo_4View MAFMC page here June 2014 Meeting Agenda Click here  Listen Live via Adobe Connect Click here 12:33

Time to rethink fishery management?

karen elizibethFishery management traditionally has focused on fishing pressure, the removal of animals from a population with nets, lines and traps, as the only statistic worth using in the regulatory equation. The rationale is simple, at least in theory: If the landings in a fishery drop, it’s assumed that the population has declined. Read more here PBN.com 07:12

Dogfish ‘everywhere’ (not just) in Gulf of Maine, but sales go nowhere

Regulators may raise catch limits on the voracious little shark, which competes with more valuable ocean species for food. And here’s the problem: Scientists say there are huge and growing numbers of dogfish in the Gulf of Maine competing for the same food as more commercially valuable species, such as cod and haddock. Read more here  08:10