The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) are seeking public comment on management options under consideration in the Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendment. This amendment contains alternatives to:
Revise the fishery management plan (FMP) goals and objectives;
Modify the bluefish allocations between the commercial and recreational sectors;
Modify the commercial allocations to the states;
Initiate a rebuilding plan;
Revise the quota transfer processes;
Revise how the FMP accounts for management uncertainty; and
Revise the de minimis provisions in the Commission’s FMP.
Comments may be provided at any of 5 virtual public hearings to be held betweenMarch 24 and April 8, 2021 or via written comment until April 23, 2021. We encourage you to visit the Council’s Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendmentweb page or the Commission’s Public Input web page, where you can read the Public Hearing Document, the Draft Amendment, and watch the public hearing presentation (to be posted by March 12, 2021). The Council’s Public Hearing Document is an abbreviated version of the amendment which summarizes proposed management options and impacts. The Commission’s Draft Amendment is a more comprehensive management document that will resemble the Commission’s final amendment once approved. Both documents contain identical options for public input, but each have been developed according to each management body’s differing requirements. Commenters need only to submit comment on one of the documents. We have also developed a Quick Reference Guide which provides an overview of the alternatives under consideration in the amendment. Virtual Hearing ScheduleInterested members of the public are encouraged to provide oral comments at any of the following public hearings. While we encourage you to attend the hearing that is targeted toward your state or regional grouping, anyone is welcome to participate in any hearing. See the hearing announcement for a list of hearing contacts.
Wednesday, March 24, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida
Thursday, March 25, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.: Delaware, Maryland, Potomac River Fisheries Commission, and Virginia
Tuesday, March 30, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.: Connecticut and New York
Thursday, April 1, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island
Thursday, April 8, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.: New Jersey
Webinar Connection InstructionsTo register for a public hearing please click here: Public Hearing Registration and select the hearing(s) you plan to attend from the dropdown menu. Hearings will be held via GoToWebinar, which can be accessed using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. When connecting to audio, we strongly encourage participants to use computer voice over internet (VoIP) so you can ask questions and provide input. To attend the webinar in listen only mode, dial 1-866-901-6455 and enter access code 140-544-592. Those joining by phone only will be limited to listening to the presentation and will not be able to provide input. For technical assistance setting up and logging into GoToWebinar, contact Dustin Colson Leaning at 703-842-0714. Please note that if you are connected only by phone in listen only mode, you will not show up as a webinar attendee. In the event that there are no webinar attendees, the public hearing will be cancelled unless state staff request that the hearing content is presented. Written CommentsWritten comments may be submitted through April 23, 2021 by any of the following methods: 1. ONLINE: https://www.mafmc.org/comments/bluefish-allocation-rebuilding-amendment 2. EMAIL: email@example.com 3. MAIL: Dr. Christopher Moore, Executive Director Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council 800 North State Street, Suite 201 Dover, DE 19901 4. FAX: 302-674-5399 Please include “Bluefish Amendment” in the subject line if using email or fax, or on the outside of the envelope if submitting written comments. Tips for Providing Public CommentWe value your input. To be most effective, we request that your comment include specific details as to why you support or oppose a particular alternative. Specifically, please address the following:
Which proposed alternative(s) do you support, and which do you oppose?
Why do you support or oppose the alternative(s)?
Is there any additional information you think should be considered?
ContactsIf you have any questions, please contact:
Matthew Seeley, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council,firstname.lastname@example.org, 302-526-5262
Dustin Colson Leaning, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission,email@example.com, 703-842-0714
NCFA Files Motion to Intervene On Thursday, January 28, 2021 the North Carolina Fisheries Association filed a motion to intervene as a party-defendant in the lawsuit filed against the State of N.C by the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of North Carolina.
On November 10, 2020 the CCA filed a lawsuit alleging that, by allowing the use of gillnets and shrimp trawls, the State has violated the NC Constitution and/or the public trust doctrine by failing to protect our coastal fisheries resources.
Among their many allegations, the CCA claims the State of NC has shown a bias towards the fishing industry by “allowing the commercial fishing industry to dictate or exert a disproportional influence on the States coastal fisheries resources management policies and plans.”
They assert that this alleged bias has, in part, resulted in the mismanagement of our marine resources, violating the public trust doctrine and recreational angler’s constitutional rights.
The CCA’s view – that recreational fishing is a constitutional right which cannot be infringed upon, while commercial fishing is a narrow, limited privilege afforded only by statute – is not a view shared by the NCFA.
We believe all stakeholders, recreational, commercial, and consumer have a right to access our marine resources and a duty to protect them for future generations.
With this in mind the NCFA felt obligated to protect the interest of our members and those who rely on commercial fishermen as their source to access NC seafood.
Along with our motion to intervene we have filed a proposed motion requesting the dismissal of the CCA lawsuit against the State.
Regardless of the outcome of these motions the NCFA will address, in court or publicly, each false claim put forward by the CCA. If you would like to contribute/donate to NCFA to help with this lawsuit, please make checks payable to: NCFA Legal Fund PO Box 86 Morehead City, NC 28557
The North Carolina Watermen United organization represents the needs of our coastal communities by protecting the livelihood of the people who rely on fishing to make a living and provides a voice for fair regulations.
Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers
- HERBERT HOOVER
Voices from our fishermen.
Daniel Pullen gave a voice to the fishing community with The Independent Waterman project. Click on the picture to learn more.