Ad Hoc Sturgeon Committee Meeting June 26

The NEFMC's Ad hoc Sturgeon Committee will meet to review the Draft Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultation
Biological Opinion on the Continued Implementation of Management Measures for the Northeast Multispecies, Monkfish, Spiny Dogfish, Atlantic Bluefish, Northeast Skate Complex, Mackerel/Squid/Butterfish and Summer Flounder/Scup/Black Sea Bass Fisheries [Consultation No. F/NER/2012/01956]. Other business may be discussed.

Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

This meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

Sale Notice for Wind Power Commercial Leasing

This document is the Final Sale Notice (FSN) for the sale of two commercial wind energy leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts, pursuant to BOEM's regulations at 30 CFR 585.216. BOEM is offering Lease OCS-A 0486 (North Lease Area) and Lease OCS-A 0487 (South Lease Area) for sale simultaneously using a multiple factor auction format. The two lease areas together comprise the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Wind Energy Area (WEA) announced on February 24, 2012, (see ``Areas Offered for Leasing'' below for a description of the WEA and lease areas). The two lease areas are identical to those announced in the Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which was published on December 3, 2012, in the Federal Register with a 60-day public comment period (77 FR 71612). This FSN contains information pertaining to the areas available for leasing, lease provisions and conditions, auction details, the lease form, criteria for evaluating competing bids, award procedures, appeal procedures, and lease execution. The issuance of the leases resulting from this lease sale would not constitute an approval of project-specific plans to develop offshore wind energy. Such plans, expected to be submitted by successful lessees, will be subject to subsequent environmental and public review prior to a decision to proceed with development.


Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities Offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has prepared a revised environmental assessment (EA) considering the reasonably foreseeable environmental and socioeconomic impacts of issuing renewable energy leases and subsequent site characterization activities (geophysical, geotechnical, archaeological, and biological surveys needed to develop specific project proposals on those leases) in an identified Wind Energy Area (WEA) on the OCS offshore Rhode Island (RI) and Massachusetts (MA). The revised EA also considers the reasonably foreseeable impacts associated with the approval of site assessment activities (including the installation and operation of meteorological towers and buoys) on the leases that may be issued in the identified WEA.


NEFMC to Hold 3 Day Meeting

The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a 3-day meeting to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 18 through Thursday, June 20, 2013. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, and at 8:30 a.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday.

The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring Street, Portland, ME 04101; telephone: (207) 775.2311; fax: (207) 761.8224; or online at

For agenda please click below

Monkfish Committee Meeting May 29-30


The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Monkfish Committee on May 29, 2013 and May 30, 2013 to consider action affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

This meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10 a.m. and Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species May News

The National Marine Fisheries Service is adjusting the General category Atlantic bluefin tuna daily retention limit to three large medium or giant (73" or greater curved fork length) bluefin tuna effective June 1-August 31, 2013.  This limit applies to vessels permitted in the Atlantic tunas General category (a commercial handgear category), and to vessels permitted in the HMS Charter/Headboat category while fishing commercially.

Public Conference Call and Webinar Regarding Updates to the HMS Recreational Fishing Action Plan

NMFS will hold a public conference call to discuss progress on current goals and objectives in the 2011 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Recreational Fishing Action Agenda and potential updates to the Agenda. The 2011 Atlantic HMS Recreational Fishing Action Agenda was developed as part of a national effort to provide a comprehensive perspective of our efforts relating to recreational fisheries.

An operator-assisted, public conference call and webinar will be held on May 15, 2013, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., EDT.

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

Recreational Management Measures for the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; Fishing Year 2013NMFS proposes management measures for the 2013 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass recreational fisheries. This rule also proposes to implement 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 and to provide an opportunity for public comment. The intent of these measures is to prevent overfishing of the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass resources. For species specific measures please scroll down. 

Comments must be received by 5 p.m. local time, on May 14, 2013.

  Proposed 2013 Recreational Management Measures

Monkfish Assessment Udate

The New England Fishery Management Council is scheduling a public meeting of its Scientific and Statistical Committee on May 16, 2013 to review the Monkfish Operational Stock Assessment Update. Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

This meeting will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

Great Hammerhead Shark Petitioned for Listing as Threatened or Endangered

We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding on two petitions to list the great hammerhead shark range-wide or, in the alternative, the Northwest Atlantic distinct population segment (DPS) or any other identified DPSs as threatened or endangered under the endangered Species Act (ESA), and to designate critical habitat. We find that the petitions and information in our files present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. We will conduct a status review of the species to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to this species from any interested party.

Information and comments on the subject action must be received by June 25, 2013.