Upcoming April Meetings
Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAFMC)
When: Tuesday April 4th (open meeting starts at 2:00pm)- Thursday April 6th, 2023
Location: 7840 NC-751 Hwy, Durham, NC 27713
Online: Click here to join the meeting
Agenda and Briefing Book
A few presentations to make note of are:
Short Term Forecasts of Species Distributions for Fisheries Management Project Briefing Materials (Tab 2)
-The topic of species distributions moving across state and council jurisdiction lines has become a fairly regular conversation at fisheries meetings. It will be interesting to learn more about this project.
Wednesday 1:30-2:00 and 2:00-2:30
Update from ACCSP on Atlantic Recreational Data Implementation Plan Briefing Materials (Tab 8)
and Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Update
-Another hot topic, recreational reporting. Both of these presentations are focusing on pretty much the same information. The MRIP program has updated their priorities and proposed actions to improve recreational fishing data. The two biggest changes they are looking to implement are changing reporting from 2-month waves to a cumulative season total to reduce PSEs (percent standard error) and no longer providing estimates with PSEs above 50. Both of these considered actions have brought up nothing but more questions about the MRIP program. These are two more reports that will definitely have my attention.
North Carolina Regional and Standing Advisory Committee (AC) Meetings
These meetings will be held April 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, and the 19th all starting at 6:00pm
All meetings will be held in person and will be available to watch live on YouTube (and archived).
Link to all meetings:
View the list of upcoming Advisory Committee meetings
The agenda and briefing materials for the Northern Regional AC (Tuesday 11th) Southern Regional AC (Wednesday 12th), and the Finfish Standing AC (Thursday 13th) are all the same.
Agenda: Meeting Agenda
Briefing Materials: Meeting Materials
The agendas for the Shellfish/Crustacean Standing AC (Tuesday 18th) and the Habitat and Water Quality Standing AC (Wednesday 19th) include a couple extra presentations on water quality and shellfish leases.
Shellfish Agenda: Meeting Agenda
Shellfish Briefing Materials: Meeting Materials
Habitat Agenda: Meeting Agenda
Habitat Briefing Materials: Meeting Materials
-The hot topic at all of these meetings is of course going to be the Speckled Trout (Spotted Seatrout) Scoping Discussion. There was a heavy attendance for all of the scoping meetings last month. Hopefully the public attendance and participation will continue through these AC meetings as well.
South Atlantic Science and Statistical Committee (SSC)
When: Tuesday April 18th (starting at 1:00pm) – Thursday April 20th
Location: Town & Country Inn 2008 Savannah Highway Charleston, SC 29407
Online: webinar registration
The agenda and briefing materials are not yet available for this meeting but they will be posted at this link sometime this week.
One thing I do know for sure will be discussed at this meeting is the Spanish mackerel stock assessment. The stock assessment was completed last year and has been reviewed by the SSC a few times already. There were several areas of concern in this assessment we at NCFA followed up on with SAFMC staff and during public comment during earlier SSC meetings. All of our concerns were considered and most were explored further.
This should be the final review for the stock assessment and the SSC should be accepting or rejecting the assessment and then providing the recommended ABC (Acceptable Biological Catch) to be used for future Spanish mackerel management. Once this piece of the process gets completed then the long process of developing a new Spanish mackerel Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) will begin or either we will again be waiting for another more in-depth stock assessment.
As you can see there is a lot going on in the next few weeks. We will definitely be busy attending meetings, listening in, and working through the many processes. Hopefully you will have time as well to attend a meeting in person or listen to one virtually this month. There is plenty of opportunity to give public comment at all of these meetings as well.
As always if you have any questions, concerns, or comments reach out. We are here to help.