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THIS IS A WEBINAR MEETING: Due to federal and state travel restrictions and updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the new coronavirus, COVID-19, the April Council meeting will be conducted by webinar. Please continue to monitor this webpage for additional information.

UPDATE #1: In light of the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic and the economic, social, and public health consequences that are rapidly unfolding, the Council may discuss requests for emergency action that come up during the meeting. Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to implement emergency regulations to address fishery emergencies. Additional modified agenda items are marked below with an asterisk.* Click on “April 2020 Agenda Details – Revised” in the right-side column for specifics.

UPDATE #2: In addition to discussing emergency action requests for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery as already noted on the agenda, the Council will consider requesting secretarial emergency action to allow for an increase in carryover of unused 2019 groundfish annual catch limits into the 2020 fishing year. The specific time of the groundfish emergency action discussion will be announced on Friday, April 10, 2020 when the Council publishes a FINAL revised agenda here on this webpage.

Register to Listen Live

  • Don’t forget! If you want to speak during opportunities for public comment, you need to: (1) register for the webinar; and (2) actually “join” the webinar. People who call in by telephone without joining the webinar will be in listen-only mode. Those who take both steps – register and then join the webinar – will see the meeting screen and be able to click on a “raise hand” button, which will let the meeting organizer know you want to be unmuted to speak.
  • Here is the updated Remote Participation Guide with instructions for how to provide oral comments during the webinar meeting.
  • Having trouble with the webinar? We have a Help Line! Our staff is only a phone call or email away. Click HERE for assistance.

Sending comments? Written comments must be received at the NEFMC office no later than 8 a.m., Thursday, April 9, 2020 to be considered at this meeting. Please address comments to Council Chairman Dr. John Quinn or Executive Director Tom Nies at: NEFMC, 50 Water St., Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. Email submissions should be sent to comments@nefmc.org.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

9:00 a.m. Introductions and Announcements (Chairman Dr. John Quinn)

9:05 Reports on Recent Activities - Council Chairman, Council Executive Director, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) Regional Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) General Counsel, Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC), Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA Enforcement, Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel, International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Advisory Committee

10:30 Ecosystem Status Report (Dr. Sean Lucey, NEFSC)

11:30 Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) (SSC Chair Dr. Jason McNamee)

11:45 EBFM Committee Report (John Pappalardo)

12:00 p.m. Open Period for Public Comment - Opportunity for the public to provide brief comments on issues relevant to Council business but not listed on this agenda (please limit remarks to 3-5 minutes)

12:15 Lunch Break

1:30 Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (Superintendent Pete DeCola, Dave Wiley, SBNMS)

2:30 Red Hake Research Track Assessment (Northeast Fisheries Science Center)

3:15 Small-Mesh Multispecies (Whiting) Report (Rick Bellavance)

3:45 Atlantic Herring Committee Report (Peter Kendall)

5:00 Closed Session (Council Chairman Dr. John Quinn)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

8:30 a.m. Atlantic Sea Scallop Biological Opinion (Jen Anderson; GARFO)

9:30 Scallop Committee Report (Vincent Balzano)*

11:30 North Atlantic Right Whales (Jen Anderson, GARFO)

12:00 p.m. Recreational eVTRs (Council staff)*

12:45 Lunch Break

2:00 Groundfish Catch Share Program Review (Terry Stockwell; Jill Swasey, MRAG Americas Inc.)

3:30 Other Business

3:45 Break

4:00 Groundfish Monitoring Amendment 23 Public Hearing (Terry Stockwell)

This meeting will be recorded. Consistent with 16 USC 1852, a copy of the recording is available upon request.