Management Measures for the 2013 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass

NMFS is implementing management measures for the 2013 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass recreational fisheries. This rule also implements an increase in the 2013 and 2014 black sea bass specifications, consistent with a new acceptable biological catch recommendation. The implementing regulations for these fisheries require NMFS to publish recreational measures for the fishing year. The intent of these measures is to prevent overfishing of the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass resources.

Effective June 20, 2013.


Coastal Fishing Industry Grant Program

The New York State Small Business Storm Recovery Program was established to provide assistance to eligible small businesses, including farming and agricultural operations, and not-for-profit organizations that suffered direct physical damage and/or economic hardship as a result of Superstorm Sandy on or after October 29, 2012.  Hurricane Irene on or after August 28, 2011 or Tropical Storm Lee on or after September 7, 2011.

You may be eligible if...

If your business has been in operation in and located in a county designated for FEMA Individual Assistance including:

SuperStorm Sandy:  Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.

Hurricane Irene:  Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Herkimer, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren, Washington, and Westchester counties.

Tropical Storm Lee:  Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Fulton, Herkimer, Oneida, Orange, Otsego, Schenectady, Schoharie, Tioga, and Ulster counties.


2 Petitions Seek Endangered Status for Dusky Shark


NOAA Fisheries has found that two petitions to list the dusky shark under the Endangered Species Act present substantial information that the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, the Endangered Species Act requires we make a determination of whether listing the Northwest Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico population of dusky shark as endangered or threatened is warranted within 12 months of the receipt of the first petition (November 14, 2013).


2013-14 Bluefish Harvest Levels

NMFS issues final specifications for the 2013 and 2014 Atlantic bluefish fishery, including annual catch limits, total allowable landings, commercial quotas and recreational harvest limits, and a recreational possession limit. This action establishes the allowable 2013 and 2014 harvest levels and other management measures to achieve the target fishing mortality rate, consistent with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan and the recommendations of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

The final specifications for the 2013 and 2014 Atlantic bluefish fishery are effective June 6, 2013, through December 31, 2014.

Hurricane Sandy Clean Up on New Jersey Waters

The removal of submerged debris from New Jersey’s waters as a result of Hurricane Sandy will be going on all summer and possibly throughout the fall in areas out of the main channels. 

A team of contractors is removing waterway debris, including cars, vessels, buildings, docks and boardwalks, furniture, accumulated sand, and many other materials, from coastal and tidal waterways from Bergen County to Cape May and up the Delaware Bay to the Delaware Memorial Bridge in Salem County.


Mid-Atlantic Regional ocean Planning Workshop Report Written by Attendee NOPC

Earlier this month (April), NOPC attended the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Planning Workshop in Arlington, VA.  The two-day invitation-only event was convened by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean and federal agencies involved with ocean planning in the Mid-Atlantic.  While the event organizers will be posting a report and video clips from the workshop sometime over the coming weeks, a summary of some of the statements and topics of interest is provided below.  

During the meeting, it was announced that the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (RPB) has been formally designated.  Under the National Ocean Policy Executive Order, the Mid-Atlantic RPB is tasked with developing a Coastal and Marine Spatial Plan for Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.


Public hearing for Omnibus Recreational Fishery Accountability Amendment

A public hearing for the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Omnibus Recreational Fishery Accountability Amendment has been announced.

Written comments must be received on or before 5 p.m., EST, on May 15, 2013. The public hearings will be held on April 29, 30, May 1, 2, and 3, 2013 during this comment period. All public hearings will be held from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. For details on hearing times and locations, please click below. 


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species News

The National Marine Fisheries Service is taking two actions regarding the recreational Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) Angling category fishery:

(1) closure of the southern area trophy BFT fishery (73" or greater) effective 11:30 p.m. local time, Thursday, April 4, through the remainder of 2013; and

(2) adjustment of the daily retention limit that applies to the HMS Charter/Headboat category (when fishing recreationally), effective April 4, 2013, from 1 fish measuring 27 to <73" to:

1 school BFT (27 to <47”) and 1 large school/small medium BFT (47 to <73”) per vessel.


Mid Atlantic Council & Research Set-Aside to Meet

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and its Research Set-Aside (RSA) Committee will hold public meetings.

DATES: The meetings will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 through Thursday, April 11, 2013. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for specific dates and times.

 ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held at the Embassy Suites Raleigh Crabtree, 4700 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh, NC 27612; telephone: (919) 881-0000.

MAFMC SSC Webinar Meeting

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will hold a public meeting.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.