Lophius americanus

Lophius americanus

During the early 1990s fishermen and dealers in the monkfish fishery addressed both the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils with concerns about the increasing amount of small fish being landed, the increasing frequency of gear conflicts between monkfish vessels and those in other fisheries and the expanding directed trawl fishery. In response, the Councils developed a joint fishery management plan that took effect in November 1999.

The FMP is designed to stop overfishing and rebuild the stocks through a number of measures, including: limiting the number of vessels with access to the fishery and allocating days-at-sea those vessels; setting trip limits for vessels fishing for monkfish; minimum fish size limits; gear restrictions; mandatory time out of the fishery during the spawning season; and a framework adjustment process. 

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Three new cooperative research projects announced today will improve understanding of monkfish biology and how to reduce catch of skates in monkfish gillnet gear.

NMFS, in coordination with the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, is soliciting Monkfish research proposals to utilize monkfish RSA Days At Sea that has been set-aside by the Councils to fund monkfish research endeavors through the 2018/2019 Monkfish Research Set-Aside Program. 

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center is currently seeking SAW working group applicants for Monkfish, Black Sea Bass, Surfclam, Ocean Quahog, and Atlantic Mackerel. Application questionnaires are due by September 21, 2015 for black sea bass and September 30, 2015 for all other species. 

The following summary highlights actions and issues considered at the Council's June 8-11 meeting in Virginia Beach, Virginia.