Tag Archives: ASMFC

Lobster stock levels remain high in Gulf of Maine, but there is cause for concern

The “now” looks solid for local commercial lobster fishery, based on findings reported in the 2020 Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Lobster Benchmark Stock Assessment, which reported the stock at “record high abundance levels.” The good news continued,, The news for southern New England, including southern Maine, remained poor, with a depleted fishery and no signs of resurgence. The research was conducted by several organizations, including the Department of Marine Resources, Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the University of Maine’s Sea Grant program and Lobster Institute. The assessment, released in October, was based on surveys conducted from 2016 through 2018. However, once the research turns to lobster settlements the future does not look as bright. >click to read< 18:29

Marine Resources Committee off to an ambitious start

On Tuesday, the committee scheduled public hearings on two bills submitted on behalf of the Department of Marine Resources. The first, LD1922, would establish a special commercial fishing license for menhaden.,, Rep. Genevieve McDonald (D-Stonington) sponsored LD1922 on behalf of DMR to address possible changes in the way the menhaden fishery is managed. Other bills relating to other fisheries, and other interesting updates,,  >click to read< 16:23

Regulators Take Action to Stem Striped Bass Decline

Responding to the precipitous drop in the Atlantic striped bass population, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has mandated an 18 per cent cut in commercial and recreational harvest quotas for 2020.,,, The new addendum limits recreational fishermen to one striped bass per day,,, Mr. McKiernan said he doesn’t believe that pressure from commercial fishermen, who are limited to 15 fish per day, a 34-inch minimum and two fishing days a week, plays a major role in the plummeting population. >click to read<  18:52

The One that Didn’t Get Away: The Atlantic’s Largest Menhaden Fishing Fleet Faces Penalties

At a meeting this week in New Hampshire, commissioners from Florida to Maine voted unanimously to find Virginia out of compliance. Eric Reid is a commercial fisherman who represented Rhode Island at this week’s meeting. “I got boats sitting at the dock too. And when the fed said fishing is over, we stayed tied to the dock. We didn’t write a letter saying ‘hey I’ve got 150 employees as well and we need to make money and we’re going.’ We stopped,” Reid noted. “It kinda rubs my nose in it a little bit. I don’t care for it.” >click to read< 08:50

“Our landings are way off ” Maine landed less than 50 million pounds by end of September

As of the end of September, Maine fishermen had landed less than 50 million pounds of lobster, according to Commissioner Pat Keliher of Maine Department of Marine Resources.  Keliher told the American Lobster Management Board on Monday that some of the year-to-date decline could be because lobsters molted late this year. The bulk of Maine’s lobster fleet catches new shell lobster, or lobsters whose new shells are just starting to firm up after shedding their old ones.  “Our landings are way off. Now that doesn’t mean the sky is falling. That means we certainly had a very big delay in the shed.” >click to read< 15:39

North Carolina: Upon further exploration of the matter, Spanish Mackerel fishery to reopen!

On September 10, 2019, I wrote you denying your request to have DMF issue a proclamation,,, Upon further exploration of the matter,,, Secretary Regan letter about Spanish Mackerel, Attached please find a letter from Secretary Michael Regan to Glenn Skinner concerning the Spanish Mackerel fishery. Mackerel harvest will reopen with a 500 pound daily trip limit sometime next week! Please stop calling Secretary Regan, Director Murphey and DMF staff on this issue, with thanks to those who took the time to call., >click to read < 22:45

ASMFC Atlantic Herring Days Out Conference Call, Scheduled for July 10, 2019 at 1:00 PM

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Herring Management Board members from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts set effort control measures for the Area 1A (inshore Gulf of Maine) fishery via Days Out meetings/calls. Atlantic Herring Board members from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts are scheduled to convene via conference call to consider changing the start date of the Area 1A fishery on: Wednesday, July 10th at 1:00 PM >click here for more info, and links<13:42

A Forage Fish War – Canadian company targets critical forage fish in Atlantic and Gulf

The two U.S. menhaden fisheries are in the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf,,, Omega Proteins, headquartered in Canada, has sought certification that the fishery is sustainable.,, Now it has sought the same certification in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a joint statement from the American Sportfishing Association, the Coastal Conservation Association, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.,, “The ASA, Theodore Roosevelt , and CCA, have formally objected, That steep price (of MSC certification) caused Sport Fish Magazine writer Doug Olander to pen a satirical op-ed,,,That prompted a swift backlash by Omega Proteins, “According to the ASMFC [Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission], Striped Bass are overfi…>click to read<17:23

ASMFC says rockfish harvests need to be cut 17 percent

East Coast fishery managers last week took the first steps toward cutting the striped bass harvest 17 percent next year to help end overfishing of the popular species, which has been in decline for years. Options about how the harvest should be reduced will be presented to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission at its August meeting, after which proposals would go out for public comment. Final measures could be approved in October.,,, The issue of such “dead discards” — fish that die after being released by anglers — has gained more attention from fishery managers because the new assessment found,,, >click to read<08:45

Gerald Almy: Virginia’s trophy saltwater striped bass season canceled – >click to read<09:19

Maryland overfishing imperils rockfish population – Recreational anglers are largely responsible

“The recent stock assessment shows that early action is needed to slow the decline and restore this fishery to sustainable levels,” Virginia Marine Resources Commissioner Steven G. Bowman said in a statement.,,, Recreational anglers are largely responsible. Since 2008, they have killed eight times more striped bass than commercial fishermen, with Maryland anglers harvesting a huge haul: nearly three times the number of fish taken by Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware and North Carolina — combined. >click to read<14:49

More fluke could be coming for Connecticut fishermen

Last week, the MAFMC and the ASMFC increased the annual coastwide commercial quota for summer flounder for 2019-21 to 11.53 million pounds. While states will continue to receive allocations based on their historic landings up to 9.55 million pounds, landings after that will be divided equally among mid-Atlantic and southern New England states.>click to read<10:33

ASMFC expected to set stricter regs for harvesting striped bass

A new status review has found the striped bass population to be in worse shape than previously thought, a result that will almost certainly trigger new catch restrictions for the prized species next year in the Chesapeake Bay and along the East Coast. A preview of a soon-to-be-released stock assessment presented in February to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission indicates that the striped bass population is overfished and has been for several years.,,, While most everyone agrees on the need to act, many caution that the stock is nowhere near the crisis level that spurred the previous moratorium. Today’s spawning stock biomass, while declining, is still four times higher than it was in the early 1980s.>click to read<10:53

Whales and license laws top lobster industry agenda

The blowy weather that made lobster fishing a hard chance recently might well have been a blessing in disguise. The wind and cold certainly have given shorebound Maine lobstermen a good chance to learn about the tempests engulfing their industry in the Legislature and the world of fisheries regulation. Already beset by limits on how they fish — trap numbers, trawl length, the kind and strength of rope used for groundlines and buoy end lines are all regulated in the name of conservation or protecting endangered northern right whales — lobstermen are waiting to see what new rules regulators may impose on the fishery. >click to read<11:45

Broken Promise? – Thiele And Lavalle call on N.Y. State to keep Promise, File Legal Action Against Inequitable Federal Fishing Quotas

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today called upon New York State to keep its promise to the state’s commercial fishermen and bring litigation immediately to strike down the inequitable and discriminatory fluke quotas that are crippling the economic viability of the state’s commercial industry. This week, the State Department of Conservation announced that the fluke fishery would be closed in state waters until the end of the month and would then re-open with a paltry harvest limit of 50 pounds per day. In 2013, Governor Cuomo visited Montauk and promised to sue the federal government over the state’s low share of the East Coast fluke fishery. That promise was reiterated again by the Governor in late 2017. This spring, instead of bringing litigation, the state filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce protesting the quota. >click to read<17:19

New Jersey Lawmakers Calling on Feds to Lift Strict Limits on Fluke Fishing for This Season

The State Assembly is asking the federal government to suspend a 40 percent quota reduction that enters its second year until a new fluke stock assessment is completed and new rules can be established based on those findings. “NOAA recommendations for the 2017 and 2018 seasons were based on flawed data collected from inconsistent sampling and methodology,” said Assemblyman Edward H. Thomson (R-Monmouth/Ocean), who sponsored the resolution to freeze limits to 2015 levels.,, “New Jersey desperately needs Washington to stop relying on flawed numbers and bad science and complete newer, more precise stock assessments so we can accurately assess the health of our fluke stocks while protecting our fishermen’s livelihoods,” >click to read<12:55

Elver fishermen push for higher quota, say resource isn’t endangered

Despite the abrupt end to the elver season last month due to poaching, elver fishermen continue to support an increase in Maine’s annual catch limit. The Bangor Daily News reported that more than 60 elver fishermen appeared at a hearing held Wednesday by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission — the interstate body that oversees the eel and elver fishery, among others — to consider whether to raise the quota from 9,688 pounds to 11,749 pounds. >click to read<13:47

Rep. Zeldin Statement in Opposition to Black Sea Bass Quota “Deal”

“This ‘deal’ is no victory for New York fishermen and is worse than status quo with other states receiving an increase. New York continues to roll over for the ASMFC while New York fishermen get screwed. I will not pull the wool over the eyes of hardworking New York fishermen and claim victory. Any deal on behalf of New York fishermen needs to place them on a level playing field with New Jersey and Connecticut, and this deal, cementing a quota cut for local fishermen in comparison to other states, is not equitable. I will not accept anything less than what New York fishermen, both recreational and commercial, deserve – parity.” >click to read<21:13

ASMFC Spring Meeting in Arlington, VA- April 30 – May 3, 2018

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Spring Meeting will be April 30 – May 3, 2018 at The Westin Crystal City (Telephone: 703.486.1111), located at 1800 South Eads Street, Arlington, VA. Meeting materials are available on the Commission website at http://www.asmfc.org/home/2018-spring-meeting. Supplemental materials will be posted to the website on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. The meeting will be broadcast live on the internet, >click to listen<15:08

Fishing quotas on black sea bass draw lawmakers’ ire

New York lawmakers on Sunday pushed back against federal fishery quotas and regulations that reduce the amount of black sea bass fishermen can catch in the upcoming season. “New York State needs to take an immediate stand against the unfair black sea bass allocation coming out of the ASMFC [Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission] by issuing its own fair and equitable quota and going into what is formally known as noncompliance,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) said Sunday at a news conference with fishermen in Patchogue. “Going into noncompliance is never the first option, but at this late hour it may be the only one.”>click here to read< 18:09

Rep. Zeldin Slams ASMFC Black Sea Bass Allocation, Calls for Equitable Fishing Quotas

Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) issued the following statement following the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) proposed allocation for black sea bass for the 2018 season, which would unfairly cut New York State’s share by up to 12%, while other states will see their allocations grow: “With the vast majority of Long Island fishing taking place in waters shared with New Jersey and Connecticut, such as the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound, it is unfair that New York anglers are, once again, being penalized with smaller fishing quotas than neighboring states. >click to read<14:08

ASMFC to require Maine to collect catch reports from all lobstermen

An interstate fisheries commission voted Tuesday to require all licensed lobstermen in Maine to start filing catch reports within the next five years. Lobstermen in Maine, where currently only 10 percent of licensed lobstermen are required to file catch reports, overwhelmingly have been opposed to such a requirement. Other states, all of which have lobster fisheries smaller than Maine’s, already require 100 percent of active lobster harvesters to file daily catch summaries. Maine’s Department of Marine Resources also has opposed requiring all lobstermen to file reports. >click to read< 16:08

ASMFC Winter Meeting in Arlington, VA- February 6-8, 2018

Final Agenda >click to read<The agenda is subject to change. Bulleted items represent the anticipated major issues to be discussed or acted upon at the meeting. The final agenda will include additional items and may revise the bulleted items provided below. The agenda reflects the current estimate of time required for scheduled Board meetings.,, Board meeting proceedings will be broadcast daily via webinar >click here to listen< beginning February 6th at 9:30 a.m. and continuing daily www.asmfc.org/ 15:28

Request for Participant: 2018 Northern Shrimp RSA/Cooperative Winter Sampling Program – Massachusetts

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MA DMF) are seeking one Massachusetts (MA) trawl vessel/captain to collect northern shrimp samples in 2018 in accordance with the details below, fishing one trip per week for up to ten consecutive weeks. The participant will work with MA DMF staff to provide fresh shrimp samples from the vessel to the MA DMF Gloucester office each week. The participant will be allowed to land and sell up to 800 pounds of shrimp per trip. There shall be no other compensation. click here to read the press release 17:14 

Maine objections couldn’t stop shrimp closure

Say this for Maine — both its state fisheries regulators and its shrimpers: They don’t like to lose. Last Wednesday, Maine got outvoted by Massachusetts and New Hampshire on whether interstate fisheries regulators should continue closing the Gulf of Maine to shrimping for the fifth consecutive year. Massachusetts and New Hampshire voted to keep it closed. Maine, hoping to sustain as much of its shrimp fishery’s infrastructure as possible, argued for a modest season despite the continued dire forecasts for the northern shrimp stocks — which, if possible — seem even worse than what NOAA Fisheries says about Gulf of Maine cod. click here to read the story 09:04

Chairman James Gilmore hopes to modernize Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

The announcement in mid-October that James Gilmore had been elected Chairman of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) came as no surprise to anglers familiar with the fishery management process at the federal level. Voted in by the ASMFC State Commissioners from Maine to Florida, the lifelong Amityville resident had spent the past two years as vice chairman. He is also Division of Marine Resources Director for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), a position he has held for the last decade and will continue to hold. In his new role as ASMFC chairman, Gilmore oversees both administration and policy issues for the regulatory agency’s individual species management boards. click here to read the story 09:35

Menhaden battle once again pits Virginia against Northern states

Five years ago, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission cut the menhaden harvest by 20 percent, forcing the largest employer in the rural tip of the Northern Neck, Omega Protein, to lay off workers and decommission a ship.,, Since then, ASMFC, which manages fisheries from Maine to Florida, changed its method of assessment and says stocks are now healthy. It began easing catch limits to where the quota is now only about 6 percent short of the 212,000 metric tons it once was. Omega, which catches a half-billion fish each year, replaced two of its seven ships this year with larger, more efficient ships and rehired some of its employees. But the company sees a new problem. click here to read the story 11:27

NY Commercial fishermen reeling from shutdown of fluke fishery

It was the busy Labor Day Weekend, and Southold Fish Market owner Charlie Manwaring had been forced to stock his popular East End restaurant and market with out-of-state fluke for the first time in recent memory. “This is my backyard, and on a holiday weekend I have no fluke,” he complained to Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) at a meeting Friday morning with two dozen angry Long Island fishermen and women at the Mattituck fishing dock. “I have to rely on Rhode Island and Jersey and Massachusetts and Carolina.”. “The fluke paid our bills,” said Cindy Kaminsky, who fishes commercially out of Mattituck.,,, “Nobody’s been willing to stand up and say to lawmakers, ‘You need to make this fair to New York fishermen,’ ” said Southampton attorney Dan Rodgers of New York Fish, an advocacy group. click here to read the story 17:42

Jim Lovgren – Fishery managers responsible for Summer Flounder mismanagement

Earlier this year the state of New Jersey was found to be out of compliance by the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission [ASMFC] in regard to the proposed recreational catch specifications for Summer Flounder, [fluke].The ASMFC which jointly manages summer flounder with the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council, [MAFMC] had recommended an increase in the recreational size limit for Summer Flounder to 19 inches for New Jersey. New Jersey fishery management representatives balked at that proposal and instead presented an alternative proposal that would keep the size limit at the present 18 inches but with a shorter season which would still meet the conservation goals as the Commission’s plan. The Commission denied this alternative and declared New Jersey out of Compliance, an action that would result in the shutdown of the Summer Flounder fishery, both recreational and commercial sometime later this summer. Unfairly this shutdown would have occurred after the recreational season was over, and would only impact New Jersey’s commercial fishermen, who are already struggling with a 50% cut back in the quota over the last two years click here to read the story 11:32

N.J.’s fluke question will be answered next week

New Jersey will get an answer to the question of whether the state is out of compliance with its 18-inch summer flounder regulation next week. State officials from the Department of Environmental Protection were able to plead their case to NOAA Fisheries on a June 27 conference call. “We were able to go into great detail about the data behind New Jersey’s management measures that will conserve more fish and reduce the number of larger breeding females removed from the fishery, and therefore provide stronger recruitment for the future,” said NJDEP Spokesperson Bob Considine. click here to read the story 09:36

ASMFC Winter Meeting – January 30 – February 2, 2017 in Alexandria, Virginia

Final Agenda, Click here For ease of access, all Board/Section meeting documents, with the exception of the Shad & River Herring Board materials and the submitted public comment portion of the Atlantic Menhaden Board materials, have been combined into two documents – Main Meeting Materials 1 and Main Meeting Materials 2. Main Meeting Materials 1 includes all boards/sections meeting on January 31 and Main Meeting Materials 2 are materials for the remainder of the week. Additionally, supplemental materials have been combined into document – Supplemental Materials. Links to individual board/committee materials can be found below. Board/Section meeting proceedings will be broadcast daily via webinar beginning at 8:00 a.m. on January 31st and continuing daily until the conclusion of the meeting (expected to be 3:00 p.m.) on Thursday February 2nd. The webinar will allow registrants to listen to board/section deliberations and view presentations and motions as they occur. Click here for access. 19:57