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Sending comments? Written comments must be received at the NEFMC office no later than 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 21, 2021 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

DON’T MISS THE GROUNDFISH COMMITTEE MEETING: The Council’s Groundfish Committee will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Agenda items are listed below and in the detailed agenda at right. Once the committee concludes its business and adjourns, the full Council will convene its January 2021 meeting.

SAME WEBINAR LINK: The Council will use the same webinar link posted above for both the Groundfish Committee meeting and the full Council meeting.

IMPORTANT: Due to ongoing federal and state travel restrictions and public safety guidelines related to COVID-19, this meeting will be conducted by webinar. Please continue to monitor this webpage for updates.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:  The Council’s “Guidelines for Providing Public Comments” can be found here.

Open Period for Public Comment – Sign Up Now: On Thursday, January 28 at 10:45 a.m., the Council will give the public an opportunity to provide brief comments on issues relevant to Council business but not listed on the agenda. Interested in speaking? Email Janice Plante at to get on the list.

  • 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 Council’s Remote Participation Guide with instructions for how to provide oral comments during the webinar meeting.
  • Having trouble with the webinar? We have a Help Desk! Our staff is only a phone call or email away. Click HERE for assistance.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

9:00 a.m. Groundfish Committee Meeting (Terry Alexander)             

12:30 p.m. Lunch Break 

1:30 Groundfish Committee Meeting Continued (Terry Alexander) 

4:00 NEFMC January 2021 Meeting Convenes, Introductions and Announcements (Chairman Dr. John Quinn)                      

4:10 Groundfish Committee Report (Terry Alexander)               

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

9:00 a.m. 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, and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS/NOAA Fisheries) Highly Migratory Species Advisory PanelSAFMC Dolphin Wahoo

10:30 Scallop Committee Report (Vincent Balzano)                     

12:30 p.m. Lunch Break 

1:30 Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management (John Pappalardo)                      

2:00 NEFSC Northeast Fishery Monitoring and Research Division (Amanda McCarty, NEFSC division chief)                      

3:45 NEFSC Cost Survey for Commercial Fishing Businesses (Dr. Tammy Murphy, NEFSC)

4:30 Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel (NTAP) (Terry Alexander)            

Thursday, January 28, 2021

9:00 a.m. Index-Based Methods and Control Rules 2020 Research Track Assessment: (Dr. Chris Legault, NEFSC)                      

9:45 Small-Mesh Multispecies (Whiting) Committee Report (Rick Bellavance)                      

10:45 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) 

11:00 Habitat Report (Eric Reid)              

11:30 North Atlantic Right Whales (Colleen Coogan, GARFO)                    

12:45 p.m. Other Business - Approve draft letter to NMFS supporting investigation of using vessel monitoring system (VMS) notifications rather than Federal Register notices to announce area closures for Atlantic herring fishery; and other business as needed.

1:00 Closed Session (Chairman Dr. John Quinn)

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