New England Fishery Management Council Update

July 22, 2019

The New England Fishery Management Council has a number of meetings lined up between now and mid-September. Here’s a rundown of what’s currently posted on the Council’s calendar, along with a few highlights of related activities.

COMMERCIAL eVTRs: The New England Council has joined the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management’s Omnibus Framework Action to potentially require fishermen with commercial permits for Council-managed species to submit vessel trip reports (VTRs) electronically rather than on paper.

The Mid-Atlantic Council is holding a webinar on Tuesday, July 23 at 8:30 a.m. to provide an update on the Commercial eVTR Framework and to review available eVTR applications.

ECOSYSTEM-BASED FISHERY MANAGEMENT (EBFM): The New England Council’s EBFM Committee is working on an example Fishery Ecosystem Plan (eFEP) for Georges Bank that is scheduled to be presented to the full Council during its September meeting.

The EBFM Committee will meet on Wednesday, July 24 in Quincy, MA and then again in conjunction with the EBFM Plan Development Team on Wednesday and Thursday, August 21-22, also in Quincy.

Visit the Council’s EBFM webpage for more information.

ENFORCEMENT: The Enforcement Committee and Enforcement Advisory Panel (AP) will be meeting jointly to discuss the enforcement aspects of a number of groundfish actions, including Monitoring Amendment 23 and the Groundfish Catch Share Program Review.

The joint meeting will be held on Thursday, July 25 in Portsmouth, NH.

The agenda and all meeting materials can be found on the Enforcement Committee/AP meeting webpage.

GROUNDFISH: The Groundfish Committee and related work groups and advisory bodies have a full plate this summer. Here are some key meeting dates to follow.

Groundfish Catch Share Program Review: A series of port meetings is underway to solicit public comments on the Council’s review of the first six years of the groundfish sector program that was established under Amendment 16. Nine meetings are being held July 18 through August 16 from Maine to New York. Here’s an agenda and list of focus questions to help guide public input.

Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel (NTAP): NTAP will meet on Monday, July 29 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in New Bedford, MA. More information can be found at NTAP.

Groundfish Committee and Groundfish Advisory Panel (GAP) #1: The Committee and GAP will meet jointly on Tuesday, August 6 in Boston to discuss Groundfish Monitoring Amendment 23, as well as Framework Adjustment 59, which proposes specifications and other measures for upcoming fishing years.

Groundfish Operational Assessments: Operational assessments are being conducted for a number of stocks of groundfish. The peer review of those assessments will take place the week of September 9 in Woods Hole, MA.

Transboundary Management Guidance Committee (TMGC): The TMGC will meet Tuesday and Wednesday, September 10-11 in Halifax, Nova Scotia to develop recommendations for 2020 total allowable catches (TACs) for three U.S./Canada shared stocks on Georges Bank. The scientific arm of the TMGC, known as the Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee (TRAC), met July 9-11 in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada to develop recommendations for the TMGC to consider regarding the three shared stocks, which include Eastern Georges Bank haddock, Eastern Georges Bank cod, and Georges Bank yellowtail flounder.

Groundfish Committee and GAP #2: The GAP will meet Monday, September 16 in Boston, followed by the Groundfish Committee on Tuesday, September 17, also in Boston.

SPINY DOGFISH: Spiny Dogfish is managed jointly by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Councils with the Mid-Atlantic Council having the administrative lead.

The Spiny Dogfish Advisory Panel will meet via webinar on Monday, August 19 beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to review recent fishery performance and develop a Fishery Performance Report and/or other recommendations in preparation for review of annual specifications. The Councils would like the AP to spend extra time considering trip limits this year. An action to consider modifications to the trip limit is listed on the Mid-Atlantic Council’s “Possible Additions” for deliverables this year, and the Council would like input as it decides how to organize resources for later this year and/or next year. The New England Council also made it a 2019 priority to support action to change the trip limit.

SCIENTIFIC AND STATISTICAL COMMITTEE: The Council’s SSC is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, August 21 in Boston.

HABITAT: The New England Council’s Habitat Committee will meet to discuss: (1) offshore energy updates; (2) policy statements on non-fishing activities; (3) the Northeast Regional Habitat Assessment for Fish; and (4) other issues.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, August 29 in Wakefield, MA.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: The Executive Committee will meet on Wednesday, September 4 in Wakefield, MA.

SKATES: The Skate Committee is working on fishing year 2020-2021 specifications in Framework Adjustment 8 to the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan (FMP), as well as a draft amendment to consider limited access in the skate bait and wing fisheries.

The Skate Committee and Skate Advisory Panel will meet jointly on Thursday, September 5 in Providence, RI primarily to work on specifications.

MONKFISH: Monkfish is managed jointly by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils. The New England Council has the administrative lead for the FMP.

The Monkfish Committee is working on fishing year 2020-2022 specifications, which are contained in Framework Adjustment 12 to the Monkfish FMP.

The Monkfish Advisory Panel will meet during the morning on Wednesday, September 18 in Revere, MA to review and discuss the draft framework. The Monkfish Committee will meet in the afternoon that same day in the same location to receive the AP’s recommendations and prepare recommendations for the full Council.

SCALLOPS: The Scallop Committee is working on Framework Adjustment 32 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop FMP, which contains fishing year 2020 specifications, 2021 default specifications, and measures to mitigate impacts on Georges Bank yellowtail flounder. The Committee also is working on Amendment 21 to the FMP, which is addressing Northern Gulf of Maine Management Area issues, the Limited Access General Category (LAGC) Possession Limit, and the potential one-way transfer of individual fishing quota (IFQ) from limited access (LA) vessels with IFQ to LAGC IFQ-only vessels.

The Scallop Advisory Panel will meet on Wednesday, September 18 in Boston to review 2019 scallop survey results and discuss Framework 32 and Amendment 21.

The Scallop Committee will meet on Thursday, September 19 at the same location in Boston to discuss the same issues.

Visit the Council’s scallop webpage for more information and a listing of PDT meetings.

FULL COUNCIL: The New England Fishery Management Council’s next full meeting will be held September 24-26 in Gloucester, MA.

MEETINGS BY OUR PARTNERS: Here are a few upcoming meetings that also may be of interest to New England fishermen and other stakeholders.

ASMFC: The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will hold its 2019 summer meeting August 6-8 in Arlington, VA.

MAFMC: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet August 13-15 in Philadelphia, PA.

NAFO: The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization will hold its 41st annual meeting September 23-27 in Bordeaux, France.

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