The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) will meet from October 10-12 at the Hyatt Long Island East End at 451 East Main Street in Riverhead, NY.

As one of eight regional fishery management councils created by the Magnuson Stevens Act, MAFMC is responsible for conservation and management of fishery resources within the federal 200-mile limit of the Atlantic off the coasts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

Written public comments received by September 27 are included in the MAFMC meeting briefing book, while comments received after the deadline but before close of business on Thursday, October 5 will be posted as “supplemental materials” at After that date, all comments must be submitted using an online comment form available at available at

One of the bigger recreational issues on the MAFMC agenda is a Wednesday afternoon discussion on a possible February opening of the black sea bass fishery. That January/February fishery – what’s referred to as Wave 1 – has been closed for much of the past 7 years. NOAA Fisheries has effectively terminated the winter fishery primarily due to the fact that the agency doesn’t undertake recreational harvest surveys (MRIP) in the region during that timeframe, nor do they incorporate the vessel trip reports submitted by federally permitted vessels.

At the last MAFMC meeting in Philadelphia back in August, motions and discussions regarding the potential reopening of the winter sea bass fishery in early 2018 was effectively carried over until this week’s meeting in New York. See the the agenda overview below and view the full agenda with previous MAFMC motions and discussions.

Tuesday, October 10th
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Executive Committee Meeting
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Council Convenes
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Swearing In of New and Reappointed Council Members and Election of Officers
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Goals and Objectives Workshop
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Golden Tilefish Individual Fishing Quota Program Review
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Regional Planning Body – Draft Vessel Monitoring System, Communities at Sea, and Ecologically Rich Areas Data Presentation, Nick Napoli – MARCO

Wednesday, October 11th
9:00 a.m. Council Convenes
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Lobster Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology Framework (Meeting 2 GARFO)
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Spiny Dogfish Specifications
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management Risk Assessment
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial Accountability Measure Framework – Meeting 1
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 2018 Recreational Black Sea Bass Wave 1 Fishery
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Law Enforcement Report
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan

Thursday, October 12th
9:00 a.m. Council Convenes
9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Business Session

Comprised of 21 voting members and four non-voting members; seven of the voting members represent the constituent states’ fish and wildlife agencies, and 13 are private citizens nominated by the state governors and appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to fill three-year terms.

Click here to find your MAFMC representatives.