Dr. Bill Karp Named as New Science and Research Director for Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Statement from Dr. Richard Merrick, Chief Science Advisor for NOAA Fisheries

I am pleased to announce that William (Bill) Karp, Ph.D., has been named the new Science and Research Director for NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Dr. Karp will plan, develop, and manage a multidisciplinary program of basic and applied research on the living marine resources of the Northeast Continental Shelf Ecosystem from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras, NC. He will lead NOAA Fisheries’ six northeastern labs and field stations located from Maine to Washington, D.C. The Northeast Center’s laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is the birthplace of marine science in the United States and the site of the first federal conservation agency devoted to the protection, study, management, and restoration of fish.

Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) considering the reasonably foreseeable environmental impacts and socioeconomic effects of issuing renewable energy leases and subsequent site characterization activities (geophysical, geotechnical, archaeological, and biological surveys needed to develop specific project proposals on those leases) in an identified Wind Energy Area (WEA) on the OCS offshore Rhode Island (RI) and Massachusetts (MA). 

Bob Beal Named Acting Executive Director of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

The following was released by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission:

 Robert E. Beal has been appointed the Acting Executive Director for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. He will serve in that capacity until an Executive Director has been selected by the Commission's Executive Committee. Bob Beal has been with the Commission for more than 15 years and has served as the Director for the Interstate Fishery Management Program for the past 10 years. 

Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) announces its intention to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, an EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). An EIS may be necessary to provide analytical support for the fishing year 2013-2015 catch allowances and management measures for the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Analysis may also be necessary to evaluate alternatives for mitigating FMP interactions with threatened and endangered distinct population segments of Atlantic sturgeon. This notice is to alert the interested public of the potential development of a Draft EIS, and to outline opportunity for public participation in that process.

Written comments must be received on or before 5 p.m., e.s.t., on July 23, 2012.

New England Council Research Steering Committee Meeting

The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Research Steering Committee (Committee) in June, 2012, to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

DATES: The meeting will be held on Monday, June 25, 2012, at 9 a.m.

Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods, Hole, MA; Public Meeting/Workshop

NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center will sponsor a workshop to address the stock structure of cod in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, Scotian Shelf and Southern New England regions. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) in Portland, ME will organize and host the meeting scheduled for June 12-14, 2012.

New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC); Public Meeting

The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a three-day meeting on June 19-21, 2012 to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 19-21, starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, and at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring Street, Portland, ME 04101; telephone: (207) 775-2311; fax: (207) 761-8224.

European Parliament Adopts Stricter Bluefin Tuna Rules

The European Parliament has adopted legislation aimed at protecting the bluefin tuna population in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The new rules were agreed upon at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) annual meeting in late 2010. As a contracting party to ICCAT, the EU is obliged to integrate these rules into EU law.

Habitat Oversight Committee


The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Habitat Oversight Committee to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

This meeting will be held on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.

Framework 47 Clarification of the Regulations for Charter/Party Boats

NMFS approves Framework Adjustment 47 (Framework 47) to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and implements the approved measures. The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) developed and adopted Framework 47 based on the biennial review process established in the NE Multispecies FMP to develop annual catch limits (ACLs) and revise management measures necessary to rebuild overfished groundfish stocks and achieve the goals and objectives of the FMP. This action also implements management measures and revises existing regulations that are not included in Framework 47, including common pool management measures for fishing year (FY) 2012, modification of the Ruhle trawl definition, and clarification of the regulations for charter/party and recreational groundfish vessels fishing in groundfish closed areas. This action is intended to prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best available scientific information at the time Framework 47 was submitted.