The New England Fishery Management Council is hosting two workshops to bring together active fishermen who use bottom-tending mobile and fixed gear to discuss issues related to its Deep-Sea Coral Amendment. Advance registration is strongly encouraged.

PURPOSE: The Council is seeking guidance primarily from active fishermen who use trawls, traps or pots, gillnets, longlines, and/or dredges offshore in the Gulf of Maine and in the slope/canyon region south of Georges Bank. The Coral Amendment contains several alternatives that are under development. The Council is looking for: (1) industry feedback on fishing activity within proposed coral protection zones; and (2) help in refining management area boundaries to limit impacts to fishing operations while still providing protection for corals.

WORKSHOP #1, NEW BEDFORD, MA: Monday, March 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday, March 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Fairfield Inn and Suites, 185 MacArthur Drive, New Bedford, MA 02740. (NOTE: Due to a winter storm, this workshop now will be held on a single day — Monday, March 13, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and extending into the early evening. Day 2 has been cancelled.)

NEW BEDFORD DOCUMENTS
Agenda
Staff Presentation
A map of the area being addressed in Workshop #1.
Canyon and Slope Map Book
Coral Amendment GIS Data Sources

REGISTRATION #1: Pre-registration is highly encouraged. The venue has a limit on room capacity, and workshop organizers plan to distribute background materials and related information to registrants in advance of each event. New Bedford, MA Registration

WORKSHOP #2, PORTSMOUTH, NH: Wednesday, March 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Harborside, 250 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801. (NOTE: This workshop now will begin at 11 a.m. to allow for additional travel time due to weather.)

PORTSMOUTH DOCUMENTS
Agenda
Staff Presentation
A map of the area being addressed in Workshop #2.
Gulf of Maine Zones Map Book
Coral Amendment GIS Data Sources

REGISTRATION #2: Pre-registration is highly encouraged. The venue has a limit on room capacity, and workshop organizers plan to distribute background materials and related information to registrants in advance of each event. Portsmouth, NH Registration

QUESTIONS: Contact Michelle Bachman, the New England Council’s habitat fishery analyst, at (978) 465-0492, ext. 120, email mbachman@nefmc.org.