Due to public health concerns related to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), this week’s Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) meeting will be conducted by webinar only. This webinar-based meeting replaces the in-person meeting previously scheduled to be held this week in Galloway, NJ. Because of the revised format, several non-essential agenda items have been postponed, and the meeting has been shortened to occur over two days (April 7-8). A revised agenda and webinar connection information are available at www.mafmc.org/briefing/april-2020.
MAFMC said it will make every effort to accommodate oral public comments during the meeting. “However, we strongly encourage members of the public to submit written comments in advance to be included in the briefing book,” the council said in a statement. Comments may be submitted using the MAFMC online comment form or via mail. Potential meeting participants and members of the public are encouraged to check MAFMC.org for information and updates; you can also contact Mary Sabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-518-1143.
The leadership of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has also decided to cancel its Spring Meeting (May 4- 7) in Arlington, VA. This action is taken in response to the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to cancel or postpone gatherings of 50 people or more over because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result of the cancellation, the ASMFC’s August Meeting may be extended to 4 days (August 3-6) and Commissioners and proxies are being asked to keep their calendars open for May 5 and 6 in order to conduct any necessary commission or species management board business via webinars/conference calls. The details of any scheduled webinars will be announced as they become available.
The Spring Meeting agenda included a number of important issues. ASMFC staff, Board Chairs, and Commission leadership will develop plans to address each of the agenda items. It is anticipated that non-urgent items will be postponed until the Summer Meeting, and items that require action prior to August will either be handled through via webinars/conference calls or through email votes, depending on stakeholder interest. Conducting meetings via webinars/conference calls makes public comment somewhat difficult. Therefore, members of the public are encouraged to submit comments in advance of a meeting to be included in briefing materials.
For more information, contact Tina Berger, Director of Communications at email@example.com or 703-842-0740.