Interstate & Federal Fishery ManagmentLet's Describe the Purpose of This Page Here
About the ASMFC
In the early 1940s, recognizing that they could accomplish far more through cooperation rather than individual effort, the Atlantic coast states came together to form the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission). An Interstate Compact, ratified by the states and approved by the U.S. Congress in 1942, acknowledged the necessity of the states joining forces to manage their shared migratory fishery resources and affirmed the states’ commitment to cooperative stewardship in promoting and protecting Atlantic coastal fishery resources.
To promote the better utilization of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, of the Atlantic seaboard by the development of a joint program for the promotion and protection of such fisheries, and by the prevention of physical waste of the fisheries from any cause
Sustainably Managing Atlantic Coastal Fisheries
For over 75 years, the Commission has served as a deliberative body of the Atlantic coastal states, coordinating the conservation and management of 27 nearshore fish species. Each state is represented on the Commission by three Commissioners: the director of the state’s marine fisheries management agency, a state legislator, and an individual appointed by the state’s governor to represent stakeholder interests. These Commissioners participate in deliberations in the Commission’s main policy arenas: interstate fisheries management, fisheries science, habitat conservation, and law enforcement. Through these activities, the states collectively ensure the sound conservation and management of their shared coastal fishery resources and the resulting benefits to the fishing and non-fishing public.
About the Council
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Mid-Atlantic Council or MAFMC) is one of eight regional councils responsible for the conservation and management of fishery resources within U.S. federal waters. The Mid-Atlantic Council manages fisheries from 3 to 200 miles off the coasts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina (NC is also represented on the South Atlantic Council).
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council manages fisheries from 3 to 200 miles off the coasts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina (NC is also represented on the South Atlantic Council).
The Council manages more than 64 species with seven fishery management plans (FMPs). Fourteen species are directly managed with specific FMPs. These include summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, Atlantic bluefish, Atlantic mackerel, Illex and longfin squids, butterfish, Atlantic surfclams, ocean quahogs, golden and blueline tilefish, spiny dogfish, and monkfish. An additional 50+ forage species are managed as “ecosystem components,” meaning that the Council can set possession and landing limits to prevent the expansion of directed fisheries on these species in the Mid-Atlantic.
The Council coordinates its management activities closely with several other management bodies to ensure that fisheries are managed effectively across jurisdictional boundaries. Spiny dogfish and monkfish are both managed under joint fishery management plans developed by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Council. Many of the Council’s managed fisheries are fished for in state waters or outside of the Mid-Atlantic region, so the Council works with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to coordinate management of summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, bluefish, and spiny dogfish.
The New England Fishery Management Council, one of eight regional councils established by federal legislation in 1976, is charged with conserving and managing fishery resources from three to 200 miles off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
The management authority of the Council extends to the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, and southern New England, and overlaps with the Mid-Atlantic Council for some species in that region. Major ports include Portland, ME, Gloucester and New Bedford, MA, and Point Judith, RI.
- The Regional Administrator of the Greater Atlantic Region/NOAA Fisheries (or a designee);
- The five principal state official with marine fishery management responsibility (or a designee) for Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
- Twelve members nominated by the governors of the New England coastal states and appointed by the Secretary of Commerce for three-year terms (they may serve a maximum of three consecutive terms).
- In addition, four non-voting members represent the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of State, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
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