Posted on March 23, 2018

The New England Fishery Management Council has POSTPONED two groundfish meetings.

  • Groundfish Advisory Panel, Monday, March 26, 2018: This meeting is being RESCHEDULED to a date in early May; and
  • Groundfish Committee, Tuesday, March 27, 2018: This meeting also is being RESCHEDULED to a date in early May.

Both meetings were intended to focus on Groundfish Monitoring Amendment 23, which currently is under development. However, the technical analyses related to this amendment are not ready for discussion at either meeting. New meeting dates will be announced soon on the Council’s Northeast Multispecies Webpage.

WHAT HAPPENED: Staff from both the New England Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS – NOAA Fisheries) have been working at full strength to complete two critical actions that need to be implemented in time for the May 1 start of the 2018 groundfish fishing year.

  • Framework Adjustment 57 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management contains catch limits and other fishery specifications and measures for 2018. NMFS published the proposed rule for this action on March 22. It’s available at comment now on Framework 57.

Completion of these two actions took top priority, and now work will resume on Groundfish Monitoring Amendment 23.

ADDITIONAL GROUNDFISH ACTIONS: Here are several other important groundfish-related actions that stakeholders should be aware of.

  • Groundfish Sectors: On March 23, NMFS published a proposed rule containing: (a) 2018 annual catch entitlements (ACE) to groundfish sectors; and (b) a new sector exemption pertaining to day gillnet vessels fishing in the Gulf of Maine. Details are available at comment now on proposed sector ACE and day gillnet exemption.
  • Yellowtail Flounder: On March 21, NMFS transferred 30 metric tons of unused quota of Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic yellowtail flounder from the Atlantic sea scallop fishery to the commercial groundfish fishery. Learn more at yellowtail flounder transfer.
  • Groundfish Charter/Party Control Date: As a reminder, NMFS published a new control date for the Northeast multispecies charter/party fishery. The new control date is March 19, 2018. Specifics can be found at comment now on charter/party control date.
  • Juvenile cod: NMFS’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office has written a feature story on the Council’s Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) for inshore juvenile Atlantic cod. The HAPC went into effect January 3, 2018. Learn more at juvenile cod HAPC.

MORE INFORMATION: Visit “Related News,” “Upcoming Meetings,” and “Past Meetings” on the Council’s groundfish webpage for press releases and documents associated with upcoming and past meetings. Go to stay in touch.