ASMFC Winter Meeting Preliminary Agenda, Public Comment Guidelines, and Meeting Details

Please find attached and below the preliminary agenda and public comment guidelines for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s 2018 Winter Meeting, February 6-8, 2018 in Arlington, VA. The agenda is also available at Included in the attachment are the travel authorization form, travel reimbursement guidelines, and directions to the hotel. Materials will be available on January 24, 2018 on the Commission website at

A block of rooms is being held at The Westin Crystal City, 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA  22202. Cindy Robertson will make Commissioner/Proxy reservations and will contact you regarding the details of your accommodations. Please notify Cindy of any changes to your travel plans that will impact your hotel reservations, otherwise you will incur no-show penalties. We greatly appreciate your cooperation.

For all other attendees, please reserve online via Star Group Website at or call The Westin Crystal City at 888.627.8209 as soon as possible and mention the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to obtain the group room rate of $182.00 plus tax single/dbl. Please be aware you must guarantee your room reservation with a major credit card or one night’s advance payment. Hotel reservations must be made by Monday, January 8, 2018.  Room availability will not be guaranteed beyond this date.  If you are being reimbursed by ASMFC for your travel, please make your reservation directly with the hotel. Reservations made through travel websites do not apply toward our minimum number of required reservations with the hotel. Please note, cancellations at The Westin must be made by 4:00 p.m. two days prior to arrival to avoid penalty and an early departure fee of $100.00 will apply when checking out prior to the confirmed date. If you have any problems at all regarding accommodations please contact Cindy at 703.842.0740 or at



Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 

Winter Meeting

February 6-8, 2018

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The Westin Crystal City

Arlington, Virginia

Preliminary Agenda 

The agenda is subject to change. Bulleted items represent the anticipated major issues to be discussed or acted upon at the meeting. The final agenda will include additional items and may revise the bulleted items provided below. The agenda reflects the current estimate of time required for scheduled Board meetings. The Commission may adjust this agenda in accordance with the actual duration of Board meetings. Interested parties should anticipate Boards starting earlier or later than indicated herein.


Tuesday, February 6

9:30 a.m. – Noon                    American Lobster Management Board

  • Consider American Lobster Addendum XXVI and Jonah Crab Addendum III for Final Approval
  • Subgroup Report on Goals and Objectives for Management of the Southern New England Stock
  • Consider 2020 American Lobster Benchmark Stock Assessment Terms of Reference
  • Elect Vice-chair

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.                        Atlantic Herring Section

  • Review Technical Committee Report on Effectiveness of Current Spawning Closure Procedure
  • Elect Chair and Vice-chair

2:15 – 4:15 p.m.                        Winter Flounder Management Board

  • Review Results of the 2017 Groundfish Operational Stock Assessment for Gulf of Maine and Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Winter Flounder Stocks

o   Discuss Potential Management Response

  • Consider Specifications for 2018 Fishing Year
  • Consider Approval of Fishery Management Plan Review for 2016-2017 Fishing Year
  • Elect Chair and Vice-chair

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.                        Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board

  • Review and Consider Maryland Conservation Equivalency Proposal
  • Update on Process and Timeline Regarding Board Guidance on Benchmark Stock Assessment

Wednesday, February 7

8:00 – 9:30 a.m.                         Executive Committee

(A portion of this meeting may be a closed session for Committee members and Commissioners only)

  • ACCSP Program Update
  • Discuss ASMFC Leadership Nomination Process
  • Discuss Updating Appeals Process
  • Discuss Updating Conservation Equivalency Guidelines

9:45 – 11:15 a.m.                      Strategic Planning Workshop

  • Review Annual Commissioner Survey Results
  • Discuss Next Steps in Developing 2019-2023 Strategic Plan

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.          Weakfish Management Board

  • Consider Approval of 2017 Fishery Management Plan Review and State Compliance Reports
  • Consider the Use of Fishery-independent Samples in Fulfilling Biological Sampling Requirements of the Fishery Management Plan


12:45 – 2:15 p.m.                      American Eel Management Board

  • Consider Approval of Draft Addendum V for Public Comment
  • Consider Approval of 2016 Fishery Management Plan Review and State Compliance Reports

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.                        South Atlantic State/Federal Fisheries Management Board

  • Review Technical Committee Report on State Implementation Plans for the Interstate Cobia Fishery Management Plan
  • Consider Approval of Draft Addendum I to the Black Drum Fishery Management Plan for Public Comment
  • Review Technical Committee/Plan Review Team Report on Recommended Updates to the Annual Traffic Light Analyses for Atlantic Croaker and Spot
  • Consider Approval of 2017 Fishery Management Plan Reviews and State Compliance Reports for Spanish Mackerel and Spot

Thursday, February 8

8:00 – 10:00 a.m.                      Risk and Uncertainty Policy Workshop

10:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.            Interstate Fisheries Management Program Policy Board
  • Consider Approval of Climate Change and Fisheries Management Policy
  • Review Shad Benchmark Stock Assessment Timeline and Consider Terms of Reference
  • Habitat Committee Report
  • NOAA Fisheries Overview of Right Whale Issue
  • Update on Marine Recreational Information Program

1:30 – 2:00 p.m.                        Business Session

  • Consider Noncompliance Recommendations (If Necessary)

2:15 – 4:15 p.m.                        Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board
  • Consider Black Sea Bass Addendum XXX for Final Approval
  • Finalize Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Recreational Measures


Public Comment Guidelines


With the intent of developing policies in the Commission’s procedures for public participation that result in a fair opportunity for public input, the ISFMP Policy Board has approved the following guidelines for use at management board meetings:

For issues that are not on the agenda, management boards will continue to provide opportunity to the public to bring matters of concern to the board’s attention at the start of each board meeting. Board chairs will use a speaker sign-up list in deciding how to allocate the available time on the agenda (typically 10 minutes) to the number of people who want to speak.

For topics that are on the agenda, but have not gone out for public comment, board chairs will provide limited opportunity for comment, taking into account the time allotted on the agenda for the topic. Chairs will have flexibility in deciding how to allocate comment opportunities; this could include hearing one comment in favor and one in opposition until the chair is satisfied further comment will not provide additional insight to the board.

For agenda action items that have already gone out for public comment, it is the Policy Board’s intent to end the occasional practice of allowing extensive and lengthy public comments. Currently, board chairs have the discretion to decide what public comment to allow in these circumstances.


In addition, the following timeline has been established for the submission of written comment for issues for which the Commission has NOT established a specific public comment period (i.e., in response to proposed management action).

1.    Comments received 3 weeks prior to the start of a meeting week will be included in the briefing materials.

2.    Comments received by 5:00 PM on the Tuesday immediately preceding the scheduled ASMFC Meeting (in this case, the Tuesday deadline will be January 30, 2018) will be distributed electronically to Commissioners/Board members prior to the meeting and a limited number of copies will be provided at the meeting.

3.    Following the Tuesday, January 30, 2018 5:00 PM deadline, the commenter will be responsible for distributing the information to the management board prior to the board meeting or providing enough copies for the management board consideration at the meeting (a minimum of 50 copies).

The submitted comments must clearly indicate the commenter’s expectation from the ASMFC staff regarding distribution.  As with other public comment, it will be accepted via mail, fax, and email.

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