Tag Archives: nefmc

NEFMC Groundfish Catch Share Program Review Public Meeting Jul. 26, 2019

The evaluation period for this review is focused strictly on fishing years 2010 to 2015, spanning from May 1, 2010 through April 30, 2016. This period covers the first six years of the catch share program under Amendment 16 to the FMP. Information prior to program implementation also will be included for fishing years 2007 to 2009, covering May 1, 2007 through April 30, 2010.,,,The meeting, which will run from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., will be held in Portsmouth, NH – July 26 at Portsmouth High School, 50 Andrew Jarvis Drive >click to read<20:08

New England Joins Mid-Atlantic to Require eVTRs for Vessels with Federal Commercial Permits for Council-Managed Species

The New England Fishery Management Council is taking steps to bring all commercial fishermen who hold federal permits for Council-managed species into the digital age by requiring vessel trip reports (VTRs) to be submitted electronically instead of on paper. These electronic reports are known as eVTRs, and this proposed action will apply to all of the Council’s fishery management plans. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) has been working since December of 2018 on a Commercial eVTR Omnibus Framework Actionthat would apply to all vessels with federal commercial permits for MAFMC-managed species, which include,,, >click to read< 17:41

Groundfish Catch Share Program Review: Public Meetings Scheduled for July/August in Ports From Maine to New York

The New England Fishery Management Council is conducting a review of the groundfish sector system, which is a catch share program under the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The public is encouraged to provide comments during an upcoming series of port meetings or in writing until August 19, 2019. The review focuses on the first six years of the catch share program under Amendment 16 to the FMP, covering fishing years 2010 to 2015, which span from May 1, 2010 through April 30, 2016. Information prior to the program’s implementation also will be included for fishing years 2007 to 2009. This period covers May 1, 2007 through April 30, 2010. The Council contracted with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) to conduct the port meetings. All nine meetings, which extend from Maine to New York, will run from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Here are the dates and locations. >click to read< 16:25

Herring cuts another headache for lobstermen

Maine lobstermen are catching it coming and going, but the “it” ain’t lobsters. Last month, the lobster industry found itself confronted with a demand from federal fisheries regulators that it reduce the risk it posed to endangered right whales by 60 percent and began the arduous task of figuring out how to remove half the vertical buoy lines attached to lobster traps from the water. Though it came as no surprise, earlier this month the New England Fishery Management Council announced that the already scant amount of herring allowed to be caught off the coast of New England would be further reduced in 2020 and 2021. >click to read<11:34

NEFMC Initiates Monkfish-Skate Specifications; Approve Monkfish RSA Priorities; Discuss Skate Limited Access

The New England Fishery Management Council covered several issues related to monkfish and skates during its mid-June meeting in So. Portland, Maine. The Monkfish and Skate Plan Development Teams (PDTs) will work on specifications and related measures over the summer and report back to their respective committees and advisory panels.,,, Monkfish Research Set-Aside Program The Council approved the following research priorities for the upcoming 2020-2021 RSA request for proposals. These are ranked in order of preference. Monkfish RSA Priorities for 2020-2021 >click to read<16:45

N.E. Fishery Management Council Hosts Offshore Wind Session; Discusses EBFM, Commercial eVTRs, and Research Set-Aside Program Review

Council Hosts Offshore Wind Special Session; The Council reaffirmed its commitment to stay engaged in tracking ongoing offshore wind developments and will continue to provide comments during appropriate opportunities along the way. All presentations and documents are available – Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management (EBFM), Commercial Electronic Vessel Trip Reporting (eVTR), ResearchSet-Aside (RSA) Program Review, lots of links! >Click to read the various details of these issues.<13:18

NEFMC Public Hearing Sessions for Limiting Entry to Federal For-Hire Groundfish Fishery

The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) has scheduled a series of public listening sessions throughout New England. The purpose of the sessions is to have preliminary public discussions on the possibility of developing an amendment to the Northeast Multispecies Groundfish FMP to establish a limited access program for the party and charter boat fishery. >click to read dates, time, and place< 15:55

CoA Institute Highlights Deficiencies in Proposed Rule to Shift Burdensome Costs of At-Sea Monitoring to Commercial Fishermen

The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC), in coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), seeks to approve and implement a controversial set of regulatory amendments that would create a new industry-funding requirement for at-sea monitoring in the Atlantic herring fishery and, moreover, create a standardized process for introducing similar requirements in other New England fisheries. Under the so-called Omnibus Amendment, the fishing industry would be forced to bear the burdensome cost of allowing third-party monitors to ride their boats in line with the NEFMC’s supplemental monitoring goals. This would unfairly and unlawfully restrict economic opportunity in the fishing industry. >click to read<14:29

NEFMC Approves Atlantic Herring Amendment 8; Asks NMFS to Set 2019 Catch Limits

On September 25 during its meeting in Plymouth, MA, the New England Fishery Management Council approved Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. The Council also asked the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS, NOAA Fisheries) to develop an in-season action to set 2019 specifications for the herring fishery.   ABC Control Rule: The acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rule is a formula that will be used to set annual catch limits. The Council considered close to a dozen alternatives that would allow different levels of fishing mortality depending on the estimated level of herring biomass in the ecosystem.,,  Potential Localized Depletion and User Conflicts –Buffer Zone, Stock Status and 2019 Catch Limits,,, >click to read<21:34

2018-2019 Monkfish Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program

Three new cooperative research projects announced today will improve understanding of monkfish biology and how to reduce catch of skates in monkfish gillnet gear. The projects are possible because of an innovative program established by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, and managed by NOAA Fisheries in the region. Under it, monkfish fishing days are set-aside each year and revenue generated from the sale of those days are used to pay for research projects. Award recipients for the 2018-2019 Monkfish Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program include the Coonamessett Farm Foundation, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, and the University of New England. >click to read<10:08

NEFMC Discusses Offshore Wind, Clam Dredge FW, Skates, Groundfish, Herring, IFM, and More at Mid-April Meeting

The New England Fishery Management Council met April 17-19 in Mystic, CT and discussed a wide range of issues that touched on everything from industry-funded monitoring to offshore wind, Clam Dredge Framework, Skate Wing Fishery, Northeast Multispecies -Groundfish, Atlantic Herring –River Herring/Shad, The New England Council paid tribute to two retiring Council members –Mark Alexander of Connecticut, left, who served on the Council for 10 years, and Mark Gibson of Rhode Island, >click to read<15:16

NEFMC: Scallops, Council Approves Framework 29 – Whiting, Approves 2018-2020 Specifics; to Send Amendment 22 to Public Hearing

The Council took two actions today related to small-mesh multispecies, which include two stocks of silver hake and offshore hake –collectively known as “whiting” –and two stocks of red hake. click here to read the notice 16:37
The Council today approved a sweeping package of measures for Framework Adjustment 29 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan. The framework includes specifications for the 2018 scallop fishing year, which begins April 1, as well as default specifications for 2019. It also includes actions related to Closed Area 1 carryover pounds, the Northern Gulf of Maine Management Area, and flatfish accountability measures, among others. click here to read the notice

How To Play The Game

Sam Parisi writes – To me this whole fishing industry is a big game. I remember a song by Paul Anka, in part it says love’s a game a game you just can’t win. Over the years fisherman have attended many meetings held by NOAA and the NEFMC and results are always the same in spite of what fisherman say. It seems the council has already decided what they intend to do any way. I was ready to go to yesterdays meeting, but wanted to know what it was about so if I spoke, I know what I was talking about. click here to read the rest 00:10

Cape fishermen push for action on habitat protection

Part of managing fisheries is identifying and protecting that habitat. But the ocean is a big place and a difficult environment to do analysis. Politically, it’s also fractious terrain as fishermen worry about the balance between conservation and being shut out of traditional and productive fishing grounds. And so, it took 14 years for the New England Fishery Management to craft regulations protecting fish habitat, passing Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 in June of 2015. But after over two years of review by the council and the National Marine Fisheries Service, it still hasn’t been implemented,,, click here to read the story 11:19

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

Warming waters have fish on the move. Regulators need to act now! Captain Sam Novello, Gulf of Maine Fisherman

T0 NOAA & NEFMC – Because of our warming ocean temperatures fish & squid stocks are moving into north for cooler waters to survive. In the near future , these stocks will be moving into the  waters and these stocks will be more abundant there than in the southern  waters. Most Gulf of Maine fishermen have very little quota of these stocks and most have no quota at all!  Our  regulators and the NEFMC should be addressing the issue now. Today in the Gulf of Maine, most of fishermen and boats are now out of commercial  fishing. At one time there was 2500 fishing  permits in the fishing  industry. Today I believe there about 200 active permits left. Most  of these permits are  small family day boats who are struggling to stay in business fishing. It would  be  a devastating disaster to our natural fishing resources and having Gulf of Maine fishermen dump these fish because of  lack of quota. Regulators and Management should consider using incidental catch limits on new stocks. Example- 2000 lbs, per trip. All Gulf of Maine communities and  fishermen would  benefit by using  incidental  catch limits in Gulf of Maine waters!  Captain Sam Novello, Gulf of Maine Fisherman 15:01

Gloucester Fisheries Commission opposes limited access to the historically open-access whiting fishery

manatthewheelA mere two days after the NEFMC received its first look at the proposals being generated by its whiting advisory panel and whiting committee, Gloucester commission members raised concerns over the impact the proposals could have on the city’s whiting fleet — particularly the small boats. “We should not allow any other species to go under limited access,” said commission member Angela Sanfilippo, also the president of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association. “This is a healthy stock and I am totally against limited access.” Sanfilippo’s views were echoed by member Joe Orlando and Chairman Mark Ring. The three proposals to potentially limit access to the fishery are contained in currently being developed by the council. The council’s whiting committee hopes to furnish a more finished product at the council’s next meeting in late January. The city fisheries commission, however, wasn’t waiting around for the council staff’s final analysis. It voted 6-0 to oppose any attempts to limit access to Ipswich Bay for the local whiting fleet. Read the story here 08:49

NEFMC Press Release: Council Approves 2017 US/Canada TACs; hears FW 56 progress

us-canadian-tacsNEFMC approves the 2017 total allowable catch for three groundfish stocks on Georges Bank. The agreement sets the shared TAC at 730 metric tons.The U.S. will be allowed to take 146 metric tons and Canada will get the rest.  Read the rest here 17:31

“Corrupt” goings on? Fishery council decision endangers scallop stock

PewOutdoor writer Bill Biswanger received a letter from Jason Colby, who is a charter-boat captain and sits on the board of directors for non-commercial fishermen here in Massachusetts about the nasty — he calls it “corrupt” — goings-on in the scallop fishery. He told me how Eddie Welch, a shellfish advisor, had written to him about the problem down on the Cape and wanted to share this with me and the readers. Here are excerpts from his letter: “A recent controversial decision to open select scallop grounds off the coast of New England to certain select fishing groups undermines sustainable scallop management, and threatens the future health of one of the region’s most valuable resources. Read the rest here 08:48

Fishermen Plan Demonstration during NEFMC Meeting in Plymouth Wednesday, 2 to 4 p.m.

The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance is the group spearheading Wednesday’s demonstration, which is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. outside the fisheries council meeting at the Radisson hotel on Water Street in Plymouth. Stephen Welch, who lives in Hanover and fishes out of Scituate and Hyannis, plans to be at Wednesday’s demonstration. “I used to have two boats and eight employees. Now I have one boat and one employee,” said Welch, a member of Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, a fishermen-led organization. Read the rest here 07:52

NEFMC Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting Sept 1, 2015 – Listen Live

NEFMC SidebarThe public is invited to listen in to the September 1, 2015 Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting (SSC). It is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Boston Logan Airport, 100 Boardman Street. Webinar Registration: For online access to the meeting – Click here to register and listen,  The webinar will be activated beginning at 8:00 a.m. and end at approximately 6:00 p.m. EST. Click here to read the Agenda. For more info, Click here 16:57

NEFMC Approve Some Habitat Changes – blocks no-fishing zone for scientific research on Stellwagen Bank

Federal fishery regulators say they will keep much-debated protections for Cashes Ledge in the 100_1407in place as part of a broad effort to alter the scope of New England’s fishing grounds. Peter Baker, director of northeast U.S. Oceans for Pew Charitable Trusts, said that with the recent approvals, the council remains “on a course to eliminate thousands of square miles of important fish habitat areas” in favor of commercial fishing concerns. He said the council has ignored conservationists’ (shrugs shoulders),,, Read the rest here 20:48

NEFMC Votes to Keep Cashes Ledge Closed

cashes ledge closedFederal fishery regulators are keeping protections of Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine as part of a broad effort to alter the scope of New England’s fishing grounds. The ledge is an underwater mountain and offshore ecosystem mostly closed to fishing that environmentalists have ardently opposed reopening. The New England Fishery Management Council says its protections will stay. The council is meeting Thursday to approve a long-awaited plan for federal waters from Maine to Rhode Island. Read the rest here 16:03

Mainer Mary Beth Nickell-Tooley’s vote disallowed on NEFMC, What about John Pappalardo’s?

Mary Beth Nickell-Tooley, an at-large member from Maine since 2008, was informed Wednesday by NOAA Attorney Adviser Mitch MacDonald she “may not vote during the Council’s final deliberations on Habitat Amendment alternatives that open or close areas to fishing nor on the final vote to approve the Habitat Amendment for submission to NMFS.” Nickell-Tooley’s recusal served as a backdrop for another inquiry from , who operates the Saving Seafood website, whether council member John Pappalardo should have received a similar order for recusal. Read the rest here 08:45

Fishery science dispute front and center at storm shortened NEFMC meetings

gdt iconThe New England Fishery Management Council cancelled Tuesday’s session of the upcoming meetings in Portsmouth, N.H., but still holds out hope it will be able to squeeze much of the three-day agenda into Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. If that is the case, the final item could be the most contentious: Northeast Fisheries Science Center Director Bill Karp’s report on NOAA Fisheries’ stock assessment process and modeling program. Read the rest here 11:45

UPDATED!! NEFMC – Revised Council Meeting Agenda!

NEFMC SidebarDear Interested Parties: Because of the winter storm that is headed to New England, the Council leadership has reorganized the previously distributed agenda. The meeting will now be held in Portsmouth, NH from late afternoon on Wednesday, Jan. 28th, through Thursday, January 29th. Also, a number of items have been eliminated and will be addressed at a future date. Please see the new agenda REV.agenda_Jan2015 for details  or check our website www.nefmc.org, under Council Meetings. 15:08

Reminder – NEFMC, Notice of Public Hearings for Habitat Amendment 2

NEFMC SidebarThis is a reminder that there are still five Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 public hearings scheduled before the comment period for this action ends on January 8, 2015. The remaining hearings will be held in New Bedford and Gloucester, MA, Newport News, VA, and in Brewer and Portland, ME. A webinar is scheduled for Monday, January 5, for those who cannot attend any of the hearings. Information here,, Public Hearing Doc here 16:50

NEFMC and MAFMC propose new bycatch reporting system for Northeast fisheries

NEFMC SidebarMAFMC SidebarThe Mid-Atlantic and New England fishery management councils jointly proposed the revision. They want the revision to apply to all 13 fishery management plans in the area. The proposal involves not only a standardized reporting and monitoring method, but also new procedures for observers, new set-asides and more. It would change the way NMFS operates framework adjustments. It covers 40 species and 14 types of fishing gear. Read the rest here 22:40

New England: NEFMC, Notice of Public Hearings for Habitat Amendment 2

NEFMC SidebarDear Council Members and Interested Parties: Please note we have has updated the public hearing notice – REVhabitat.mtg_notice.pdf –  1. The Gloucester meeting has been moved to a new location; and  2.  The public hearing document is available online for those who were not able to access it previously – NEFMC_Habitatpublichearing doc.pdf. Patricia M. Fiorelli, Public Affairs Officer, NEFMC [email protected] 19:31