The New England Fishery Management Council, one of eight regional councils established by federal legislation in 1976, is charged with conserving and managing fishery resources from three to 200 miles off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

NEFMC Area of Operation The management authority of the Council extends to the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, and southern New England, and overlaps with the Mid-Atlantic Council for some species in that region. Major ports include Portland, ME, Gloucester and New Bedford, MA, and Point Judith, RI.

The Council’s 18 voting members are organized as follows (positions listed in the first two categories do not have term limits):
  • The Regional Administrator of the Greater Atlantic Region/NOAA Fisheries (or a designee);
  • The five principal state official with marine fishery management responsibility (or a designee) for Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
  • Twelve members nominated by the governors of the New England coastal states and appointed by the Secretary of Commerce for three-year terms (they may serve a maximum of three consecutive terms).
  • In addition, four non-voting members represent the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of State, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.