NEFMC Roundup – Herring, EBFM, Skates, Red Hake, January 2020 Meeting

ATLANTIC HERRING SPECIFICATIONS: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS/NOAA Fisheries) is collecting public comment through February 12, 2020 on Framework Adjustment 6 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This framework was developed by the Council to set specifications and catch limits for the 2020 and 2021 fishing years and update the overfished and overfishing definitions for Atlantic herring. Visit the Council’s Framework 6 webpage. Stakeholders also may want to keep tabs on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s progress on Draft Addendum III to the Interstate Atlantic Herring FMP, which may impact how the Area 1A quota is allocated.

ATLANTIC HERRING ASSESSMENT: Atlantic herring is one of several stocks undergoing a management track assessment in 2020. An Assessment Oversight Panel (AOP) meeting is scheduled for February 25, 2020 in Woods Hole, MA. The agenda and webinar registration information can be found on the meeting webpage. Discussions related to Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, and longfin inshore squid are scheduled for the afternoon. Surfclams, ocean quahogs, and butterfish are on deck in the morning. The assessment peer review meeting for Atlantic herring and the other stocks mentioned above is scheduled for June 22-26, 2020.

EBFM CONTRACTOR: The Council is seeking a contractor to prepare Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management-related public outreach materials. Letters of interest and supporting documents must be received by February 14, 2020. Details are available at EBFM Outreach. Here’s a link to the announcement.

SKATES: NOAA Fisheries is collecting public comment through March 6, 2020 on Framework Adjustment 8 to the Northeast Skate Complex FMP. The framework was developed by the Council to set skate wing and skate bait specifications for the 2020-2021 fishing years. Visit the Council’s Skate Framework Adjustment 8 webpage for more information.

RED HAKE: On February 3, NOAA Fisheries reduced the commercial possession limit for southern red hake from 5,000 pounds to the incidental limit of 400 pounds per trip for the remainder of the fishing year, which ends April 30. The agency took this action after projecting that 90% of the total allowable landings limit would be reached on or around February 2. Details are available in the Federal Register notice. The Council is working on an action to rebuild southern red hake. Visit the Council’s whiting webpage and take a look at materials from the last Joint Whiting Committee and Advisory Panel meeting and January 2020 Council meeting. The Council will be sending out additional information about this action in the near future.

NEFMC JANUARY 2020 MEETING: The full New England Council met January 28-30, 2020 in Portsmouth, NH. Visit the meeting webpage to access the audio and all meeting materials. Among the many topics covered, the Council discussed how it uses sociocultural information in its process. Take a look at the presentation and report. Also, here’s a list of news releases from the meeting.

New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils Approve Omnibus Commercial eVTR Framework

Habitat: Council Reviews Great South Channel HMA Research Proposal; Receives Offshore Wind Updates

Council Views Scallop Video; Honors Dr. Jim Weinberg; Receives Data Portal and Market Development Updates

Council Recommends 2020 Recreational Measures for Gulf of Maine Cod/Haddock for GARFO’s Consideration

Groundfish Monitoring Amendment 23: Council Votes to Send Draft Document out for Comment with Preferred Alternatives

SAVE THE DATE: The Council’s next meeting will be held April 14-16, 2020 in Mystic, CT.

Janice M. Plante
Public Affairs Officer
New England Fishery Management Council
(607) 592-4817
Email: [email protected]