The following proposed action may impact fishermen in New England as well as the Mid-Atlantic. Here are the details.

WHAT’S GOING ON: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has scheduled nine public hearings in April and May 2017 to solicit input on a proposed Squid Amendment to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Four of those hearings will be held in New England.

WHAT’S IN THE AMENDMENT: The amendment contains measures that may:

  • Reduce latent permits for longfin and Illex squid; and
  • Modify management provisions during the May-August Trimester 2 period for longfin squid

Latent permits are defined as “unused or minimally used permits." The Mid-Atlantic Council stated, “Currently, a relatively small portion of vessels with limited access (“moratorium”) squid permits account for the majority of landings in most years. The Council is concerned that activation of latent permits in the squid fisheries could lead to excessive fishing effort, potentially resulting in shortened seasons and increased catch of non-target species."

WHERE ARE THE HEARINGS: Here’s the list of hearing locations in calendar order and each hearing’s start time. Additional hotel information and phone numbers can be found at squid hearing schedule.

  • April 24 in Ocean City, MD – Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, 5 p.m.
  • April 25 in Portland, ME – Holiday Inn by the Bay, 5 p.m.
  • April 26 in Gloucester, MA – Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Annisquam River Marine Fisheries Station, 5 p.m.
  • May 2 in Cape May, NJ – Congress Hall, 5 p.m.
  • May 3 in Tinton Falls, NJ – DoubleTree by Hilton, 5 p.m.
  • May 4 in Newport News, VA with Webinar option – Virginia Marine Resources Commission 3rd floor “listening station,” 6 p.m.
  • May 8 in Narragansett, RI – University of Rhode Island Corless Auditorium, 5 p.m.
  • May 9 in Hyannis, MA – DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Cod, 4:30 p.m.
  • May 11 in Riverhead, NY – Hyatt Place Long Island/East End, 5 p.m.

WRITTEN COMMENTS: The Mid-Atlantic Council is accepting written comments on the proposed amendment until 11:59 p.m. on May 18, 2017 through four avenues.

  • Mail — Send to Dr. Chris Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE, 19901 (please write “Squid Amendment Comments” on the outside of the envelope);
  • Fax — Dial 302-674-5399 (please include “Squid Amendment Comments” in the subject line);
  • Email — Send to squid@mafmc.org; or
  • Online — Go to http://www.mafmc.org/comments/squid-amendment-public-comments.

MORE INFORMATION: The objectives of the Squid Amendment and links to additional documents can be found at Squid Amendment overview. A summary of the alternatives can be found here.

QUESTIONS: Still have questions? Contact Jason Didden, the Mid-Atlantic Council’s Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP coordinator, at (302) 526-5254, jdidden@mafmc.org.