New England Fishery Management Council Meeting Online, April 14th, and 15th, 2020

The New England Fishery Management Council will hold a two-day meeting by webinar on Tuesday, April 14 and Wednesday, April 15, 2020. The public is invited to listen live and provide input during designated opportunities for public comment.

IMPORTANT: This notice contains more information than usual. Please read carefully and especially take note of:

The detailed agenda;

The “helpful instructions” for joining and participating in the webinar;

The pre-meeting Public Training Webinar on Monday, April 13 at 10:30 a.m.;

The scallop and groundfish emergency action discussions cited on the agenda; and

The Groundfish Monitoring Amendment 23 public hearing.

WHY IS THE MEETING TAKING PLACE BY WEBINAR: The Council cannot hold an in-person meeting due to travel restrictions and public safety guidelines associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

START TIME: The webinar will be activated at 8:00 a.m. each day. However, please note that the meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday and 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The webinar will end shortly after the Council adjourns on Tuesday and after the groundfish public hearing is concluded on Wednesday.

WEBINAR REGISTRATION: Online access to the meeting is available at Listen Live. There is no charge to access the meeting through this webinar.

CALL-IN OPTION: To listen by telephone, dial +1 (213) 929-4232. The access code is 771-577-358. Please be aware that if you dial in, your regular phone charges will apply.

HELPFUL INSTRUCTIONS: Here’s what you need to know to successfully join the webinar and provide public comment.

THIS IS KEY! If you want to speak during opportunities for public comment, you need to: (1) register for the webinar; and (2) actually “join” the webinar. People who call in by telephone without joining the webinar will be in listen-only mode. Those who take both steps – register and then join the webinar – will see the meeting screen and be able to click on a “raise hand” button, which will let the meeting organizer know you want to be unmuted to speak.

Here is the updated “Remote Participation Guide” with instructions for how to provide oral comments during the webinar meeting.

Having trouble with the webinar? We have a Help Line! Our staff is only a phone call or email away. Click HERE for assistance once the Council meeting is underway.

PUBLIC TRAINING WEBINAR: The Council will conduct a Public Training Webinar on Monday, April 13 at 10:30 a.m. in order to: (1) walk through the steps for how the full Council meeting will be conducted; and (2) show participants how to speak and be heard on the webinar during designated public comment opportunities. Join us for this practice run!

Register Now for the Public Training Webinar

AGENDA: The detailed agenda and meeting materials are available on the Council’s website at NEFMC April 14-15, 2020 Webinar. Additional documents will be posted as they become available.

EMERGENCY ACTION: In light of the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic and the economic, social, and public health consequences that are rapidly unfolding, the Council will be discussing several requests for emergency action during the meeting. Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to implement emergency regulations to address fishery emergencies.

Scallops – The Council will consider requests for secretarial emergency action that involve potential carryover of certain fishing year 2019 allocations into fishing year 2020.

Groundfish – The Council will consider requesting secretarial emergency action to allow an increase in carryover of unused 2019 groundfish annual catch limits into the 2020 fishing year.

COMMENTS: The deadline for submitting written comments for consideration at this meeting was 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2020.

GROUNDFISH AMENDMENT 23 PUBLIC HEARING: The Council will hold a public hearing on Amendment 23 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. This amendment will adjust the groundfish monitoring program to improve the accuracy and accountability of catch reporting in the commercial groundfish fishery. The Council will adjourn its regular meeting for the day on April 15 and use the same webinar information to conduct the groundfish public hearing.

Here once again is the webinar registration information.

The public hearing document and all related background information is available on the Amendment 23 webpage.

COUNCIL MEETING QUESTIONS: Anyone with questions prior to or during the Council meeting should contact Janice Plante at (607) 592-4817, [email protected].
Janice M. Plante
Public Affairs Officer
New England Fishery Management Council
(607) 592-4817
Email: [email protected]