Tag Archives: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Dear Mr. Pentony and Dr. Hare: On behalf of the MAFMC I am writing to express our deep concern about the plan to redeploy observers

On behalf of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, I am writing to express our deep concern about the plan to redeploy observers on vessels in the Greater Atlantic Region on August 14, 2020. Given the continued transmission of the COVID-19 virus, we do not believe the observer program can be safely operated at this time. >click to read<  14:49

NOAA/NMFS Announces Increase to the Illex Squid Annual Quota Effective August 4, 2020

NOAA Fisheries announces an increase to the 2020 acceptable biological catch (ABC) for the Illex squid fishery from 26,000 mt to 30,000 mt. This quota increase was recommended by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council based on preliminary work by its Illex Squid Working Group, which concluded that the species continues to be lightly exploited and the fishery footprint is small. The Illex squid fishery has closed each summer in 2017, 2018, and 2019. This increase will enable full utilization of the available resource.  This rule is effective on August 4, 2020. >click to read< 13:40

Reminder: June Webinar Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting, June16th-17th

Due to public health concerns related to the spread of COVID-19, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s June meeting will be conducted by webinar only.,, The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet via webinar this week, June 16-18, 2020. The agenda, briefing materials, and other details are available on the June 2020 Council Meeting web page. Participants are encouraged to review the June 2020 Webinar Guide for step-by-step instructions for joining the webinar, connecting your audio, commenting and voting procedures, and troubleshooting tips. >click to read, with plenty of links!< 14:38

Just in! Reminder: Black Sea Bass Commercial State Allocation Amendment Webinars – Today @ 2:00 p.m. and Thursday @ 6:00 p.m.

Reminder: Mid-Atlantic Council to Hold Two Scoping Webinars for Black Sea Bass Commercial State Allocation Amendment, Monday, May 11, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 14, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold two scoping webinars to gather public input on a management action to consider potential modifications to the allocations of the black sea bass commercial quota among the states of Maine through North Carolina. Learn more about this action in the scoping announcement or at the links below. Links, and info. >click to read< 13:35

Summer founder, sea bass and scup are on the docket for upcoming public hearings focused on allocation percentages

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) have scheduled a series of scoping hearings to gather public input on the range of issues and information to be considered in the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment. Hearings will be held February 13 – March 3. Written comments will be accepted through March 17, 2020. All comments provided at public hearings or in writing will be presented to the Council and Commission. Lots of info, >click to read< 14:03

Bycatch – From problem to opportunity. Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

For as long as I have been involved in the commercial fishing industry, and that’s going back for what is approaching forty years, there has been a widespread feeling that “things would be better if this industry were administratively housed in the Department of Agriculture (DOA).” Whether at the state level, in state waters within three miles of the coastline, or the federal level beyond three miles, there’s always been a sort of wistful “wouldn’t it be great if we were over there” view of the DOA, and the reasons for this aren’t awfully difficult to fathom. The Department of Agriculture, no matter whether state or federal, is mostly focused on promotion, and fisheries agencies, no matter the level, are regulatory in nature, in organization and in attitude. This is glaringly obvious with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the federal fisheries agency, which in recent years has become almost totally focused to the virtual exclusion of anything else on limiting – rather than enhancing – the commercial production of fish and shellfish. >click to read< 15:06

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Durham, NC, October 7 – 10, 2019

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s meeting to be held at Durham Convention Center, 301 West Morgan Street, Durham, NC, 27701,, Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda are available, >click here< Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect, its easy! >click here< 20:42

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Philadelphia, Pa, August 13 – 15, 2019

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s meeting to be held a  The Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection*, 21 N. Juniper St., Philadelphia, PA. Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda >click here< Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect >click here< 17:02

Mid-Atlantic Council to Hold Public Hearings for Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Excessive Shares Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold four public hearings in August and September 2019 to solicit public input on the Draft Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Excessive Shares Amendment. The Council is also soliciting written comments on the amendment through September 14, 2019. The Excessive Shares Amendment considers a variety of approaches to ensure that no individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog individual transferrable quota (ITQ) privileges. >click to read< 14:42

As fish move north, ‘things are getting weird out there’

Here in one of New England’s oldest fishing communities, there’s a longing for the old days, long before climate change and the federal government’s quota system got so complicated. Convinced that Congress and NOAA will never allow them larger quotas, many fishermen want to take their grievances straight to the White House, hoping the commander in chief will intervene and allow them to catch more fish. At his fish wholesaling business, Mike Gambardella reached for his iPhone to find one of his prized photographs: a picture showing him wearing a white T-shirt bearing the message, “President Trump: Make Commercial Fishing Great Again!” >click to read<08:28

NOAA/NMS Announces 2019-2021 Spiny Dogfish Specifications

We are approving and implementing the final 2019 and projected 2020-2021 specifications for the spiny dogfish fishery, as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils. The specifications for the 2019 spiny dogfish fishery are a 46-percent reduction from fishing year 2018 to,,, >click to read<11:22

New England, Mid-Atlantic fishery councils ponder switch to electronic vessel trip reporting

The move, which is under an omnibus framework action, would require commercial fishing vessels to fill out all of their vessel trip reports electronically, eliminating the ability to fill out paper forms. Electronic vessel trip reporting (eVTR) has been an established way to submit reports since 2013, according to Karson Coutre of the Mid-Atlantic council. ,,, While the Mid-Atlantic council is the one considering the move to mandatory eVTR, the New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) will also need to consider the implications of transitioning to mandatory electronic reporting. >click to read<16:39

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Avalon, NJ April 8-11, 2019

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s meeting to be held at Icona Avalon Resort, 7849 Dune Dr, Avalon, NJ 08202, Telephone: 609-368-5155 , Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda >click here< Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect >click here< To Listen Live!! 21:28

Reposted: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Virginia Beach,March 6-7, 2019

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet March 6-7, 2019 at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront (3001 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, Telephone 757-213-3000)  Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda >click here< Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect >click here<16:05

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Annapolis, MD Dec.10 thru 13, 2018

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s meeting to be held Dec.10 thru 13, 2018  at the Westin Annapolis, 100 Westgate Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Telephone 410-972-4300, Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda >click here< Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect >click here< Listen Live18:08

Mid-Atlantic Council Votes to Increase Illex Squid Quota

Today the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted to increase the Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) for Illex squid by 2,000 metric tons (mt) for 2019 and 2020 after reviewing recommendations from its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). This is an increase of approximately 8% above the ABC originally approved by the Council. In 2017, the Council established a 24,000 mt ABC for 2018, 2019, and 2020. >click to read<15:42

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting in Cape May, October 1-4, 2018

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s meeting to be held October 1-4, 2018 The meeting will be held at the Congress Hall, 200 Congress Place Cape May, NJ. Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda >click here< Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect >click here< Listen Live!18:33

Have bluefish changed their habits?

What is causing them to change their behavior is puzzling fishermen and federal fishery managers who appear to have hit a wall trying to figure out the best way to utilize the fish.  By all indications the numbers of bluefish up and down the East Coast are not scarce, they’re just not where they’re expected to be. “There’s an abundance of them. They’re just 80 to 100 miles offshore where the longliners can’t keep them off the hook,” said Captain Lenny Elich, who runs the Miss Barnegat Light party boat. The two federal regional bodies that manage bluefish want to revise the allocation of bluefish between commercial and recreational fisheries by taking as much as 4 million pounds from the recreational harvest and giving it to commercial fishermen. >click to read<14:26

MAFMC/ASMFC Public Hearings on Summer Flounder Commercial Issues Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission are seeking public input on a draft amendment to address several potential changes to the management of the commercial summer flounder (fluke) fishery, as well as modifications to the fishery management plan (FMP) goals and objectives for summer flounder. Ten public hearings will be held between September 10 and September 27. Written comments will be accepted through October 12, 2018. >click to read<19:25

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting in Virginia Beach August 13–16

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s meeting to be held August 13-16, 2018 in Virginia Beach, VA. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront (3001 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach, VA 23451, Telephone 757-213-3000). Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda >click here< Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect >click here< Listen Live! 19:15

Black sea bass surge off R.I.

Scientists tell us that some fish will be winners and others losers as oceans warm. In Rhode Island, count lobster, silver hake and winter flounder among the losers, their numbers plummeting as climate change drives water temperatures higher. On the list of winners so far are squid, summer flounder, butterfish. And black sea bass. The population of the dusky-colored fish with striking blue accents has historically been strongest off the mid-Atlantic Coast, but over the past decade or so its numbers have spiked off New England and it is becoming a more important catch for the region’s fishermen. How they are managed will have important implications not only for those fish but for lobsters and other key species in the ocean ecosystem. >click to read<12:30

Climate change moving fish north, threatening turf wars, study says

World conflict is likely to increase over access to fisheries, as species move north in response to a warming ocean, according to a Rutgers University study published last week in the journal Science. “Seventy or more countries will likely have to start sharing with their neighbors” in coming decades, said lead author Malin Pinsky, including the U.S., Canada and Mexico.,, Gregory DiDomenico, executive director of the Garden State Seafood Association, said northern states such as New York argue they should now get a larger allotment for their fishing industries. He said allotments, which are set by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, are based on the history of landings by state. >click to read<23:32

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting in Philadelphia, June 5 – 7, 2018

The public is invited to attend the June 5 – 7 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s meeting at DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City 237 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA. Briefing documents will be posted as they become available. Meeting Agenda >click to read<. For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest >click here< www.mafmc.org12:12

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Raleigh, NC February 13 thru 15, 2018

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s meeting in Raleigh, NC at the Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh/Crabtree Valley 3912 Arrow DriveRaleigh, NC, 27612 Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda >click here<  Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect >click here< Listen Live! www.mafmc.org 14:40

More fluke, less sea bass, but no difference for frustrated CT commercial fisherman under 2018 quotas

East Coast fishermen will be allowed to catch more summer flounder and not as much sea bass as last year, under new quotas proposed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. But Stonington fisherman say the effects of the changing quotas will be nominal, and they will continue to advocate for an overhaul of the quota system, which they say has been unfair for decades. click here to read the story 21:54  

RI Delegation Commends Mid on Squid, introduce legislation in House and Senate – The Rhode Island Fishermen’s Fairness Act

After the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) recently voted 16-4 against a proposed squid buffer zone framework off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts that would have negatively impacted Rhode Island fishermen, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline commended the council. And this week Reed introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate and Langevin introduced identical legislation in U.S. House of Representatives to give Rhode Island a seat at the council table going forward so that the state and local fishermen have a direct say over matters that impact them. The Rhode Island Fishermen’s Fairness Act, which is cosponsored by Whitehouse and Cicilline, would add Rhode Island to the list of seven states with voting representation on the MAFMC, click here to read press release 19:42

Mid-Atlantic Council Discontinues Development of Squid Buffer Framework

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted last week to discontinue development of a framework action that would have considered establishing a squid fishery buffer zone in waters south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. This decision will allow the effects of the recently-approved Squid Amendment to be realized prior to any additional action. The Council included the Squid Buffer Framework in its list of possible actions for 2017 in response to public concern regarding longfin squid fishing effort during Trimester 2 (May-August) in an area south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. click here to read the press release 13:28

Vote against fishing restrictions seen as win for RI, Galilee

At its meeting Tuesday, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted 16-4 to discontinue a proposed squid buffer zone framework off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, according to Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for Seafreeze Ltd “There were a good number of commercial fishermen, squid fishermen present. There were also a good number of people from Nantucket present. Basically everybody that wanted to speak got a chance to speak, and the council did the right thing,” she said. All members of the Narragansett Town Council had signed a letter Dec. 4 requesting the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council “reject further discussion of a buffer zone for the summer squid fishery off Nantucket.” click here to read the story 15:46

Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting in Annapolis, MD December 11-14, 2017

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s December meeting in Annapolis, MD. Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda click here Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect Click here Listen Live! 10:38