Joint Meeting on Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass

The Joint Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel will hold a public meeting. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Jones Act Waived to Support Region's Recovery From Superstorm

As a result of impacts caused by Hurricane Sandy, today Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano issued a temporary, blanket waiver of the Jones Act  to immediately allow additional oil tankers coming from the Gulf of Mexico to enter Northeastern ports, to provide additional fuel resources to the region.

“The Administration's highest priority is ensuring the health and safety of those impacted by Hurricane Sandy and this waiver will remove a potential obstacle to bringing additional fuel to the storm damaged region,” said Secretary Napolitano.

For Those Impacted By Hurricane Sandy

In 2005, after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, and others in the Gulf of Mexico, NACO applied for a research grant from the NMFS to do a study to provide the economic and social impacts on charter boat fleets from the impacts of such storms. The NACO study "Charter Boat Fleet in Peril" was finalized in 2006 and provides a wealth of information never before obtained on the impacts of such storms on the Charter Boat Fleet. The NMFS and Gulf States have used info from the study when providing assistance to charter boat fleets after such storms.

You can access a copy of the study on the NACO web site Search under "news, events, and alerts", scroll down to "2006" and then scroll to "Charter Boat Fleet in Peril". You can read and/or copy any or all of the report. This should help you gain assistance due to the loses from the storm. We encourage you to provide access to this info to all of your state and federal representatives.

USCG: "Reconstituting the Port of New York and New Jersey is the Highest Priority"

Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, Atlantic Area commander, and Rear Adm. Richard T. Gromlich, director of Operational Logistics, conducted an over-flight of the New Jersey coastline, New York Harbor and Long Island Wednesday to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Currently, the Coast Guard's top priority is to get the port of New York and New Jersey back to full operations. Their assessment included evaluating impacts to the marine transportation system and Coast Guard facilities. The Coast Guard enables a safe, efficient, and navigable waterway for domestic commerce, international trade and national defense.

NOAA Surveys Ports and Channels for Sandy's Dangers

NOAA survey vessels searching for dangers to navigation in Sandy's wake

NOAA Office of Coast Survey navigation response teams and other survey assets are in the water, as they begin checking for underwater debris and shoaling that may pose a risk to navigation. Tasked by the U.S. Coast Guard Captains of the Port, these vessels can use multibeam echo sounders or side scan sonar, as conditions warrant, to search for the answers that would speed resumption of shipping and other vessel movements.

EPA Approves Temporary Fuel Waivers to Assist States Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson determined that, as a result of effects of Hurricane Sandy, extreme and unusual supply circumstances exist, which may result in a temporary shortage of gasoline compliant with federal regulations. The federal waiver will help ensure an adequate supply of fuels in the impacted states.

The waiver allows the sale and distribution of conventional gasoline in a number of Eastern states that are required to use reformulated gasoline, and allows a number of additional states to mix reformulated gasoline and conventional gasoline to remove potential barriers to the supply of gasoline to the region. 

Monitor National Marine Sanctuary Seats Available

The ONMS is seeking applications for the following vacant seats on the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: 

Recreational/Commercial Fishing and Education seats. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve two-year terms, pursuant to the council's charter.

Applications are due by December 31, 2012.

Visioning and Strategic Planning Meeting

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) Staff will convene a meeting of the Visioning and Strategic Planning (VaSP) Working Group.

The meeting will be held on Monday, November 12, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee Meetings

The Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee will meet to recommend recreational management measures for the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries for the 2013 fishing year. Multi-year recreational measures may be considered for summer flounder and scup.

The meeting will be held on Friday, November 16, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Black Sea Bass Recreational Quota Reached

NMFS has announced that the 2012 black sea bass recreational harvest limit has been exceeded. No one may fish for or possess black sea bass in Federal waters for the remainder of calendar year 2012, unless issued a Federal moratorium permit and fishing commercially. Regulations governing the black sea bass fishery require publication of this notification to advise that the recreational quota has been harvested and to advise vessel permit holders that no Federal recreational quota is available for fishing black sea bass.

Effective at 0001 hr local time, November 1, 2012, through 2400 hr local time December 31, 2012.