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Council Meeting Agenda | February 12-14, 2008

Sheraton Harborside Hotel

250 Market Street, Portsmouth , NH 03801

Tel (603) 431-2300 | Fax (603) 431-7805

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
9:00 a.m. Introductions and Announcements (Council Chairman John Pappalardo )

9:05 Reports on Recent Activities

Council Chairman, Executive Director, NMFS Regional Administrator, NOAA General Counsel, Northeast Fisheries Science Center and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council liaisons, and representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard, NMFS Enforcement/VMS and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

11:30 Scallop Committee Report (Committee Chairman David Simpson )

Review and approve a scoping document for Amendment 15 to the Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan; scoping issues for this action are likely to include: measures to comply with new Magnuson Reauthorization Act requirements such as annual catch limits and accountability measures; measures to address excess capacity in the limited access scallop fishery; consideration of a mechanism for sectors in the limited access scallop fishery; and reconsideration of the current scallop overfishing definition

12:30 p.m. Lunch Break

1:30 Open Period for Public Comments (Council Chairman John Pappalardo )

Opportunity for brief comments from the public on items relevant to Council business but not otherwise listed on the agenda

1:45 NEFMC Operations Handbook (Executive Director Paul J. Howard)

Review and revise policies on enforcement, advisory panels and sectors as a follow-up to the November Council meeting discussion (sector issues paper on multiple sector enrollment will be provided); develop a Council procedure for reviewing draft regulations associated with NEFMC management actions

4:00 Update on the Development of Amendment 3 to the Skate Complex FMP (Council staff)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

8:30 a.m. Review the NMFS Proposed Rule Concerning Council Review of Experimental Fishery Permit (EFP) Applications (Council Chairman John Pappalardo )

Develop a position on the NMFS proposal to exempt EFPs associated with quota set-aside programs from the current Federal Register notice requirement and develop comments on any current EFP applications

9:30 Research Steering Committee Report (Committee Chairman David Goethel)

Review and approve overall comments on the NMFS proposed rule to revise the experimental fishery permit process; review and approve Council research priorities for 2008, discuss final cooperative reports reviewed recently by the committee and address any other research-related business

11:00 Habitat Committee Report (Committee Chairman David Preble)

Review and discuss the previously designated Southern Canyon Habitat Areas of Particular Concern and possibly approve area modifications as recommended by the committee; discuss the development of Phase II of Draft Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Omnibus Amendment 2 (minimizing the adverse impacts of fishing on EFH to the extent practicable).

12:15 p.m. Lunch Break

1:30 Groundfish Committee Report: 1st Session (Committee Chairman Rip Cunningham)

· Review and approve a process to consider proposed gears for the Northeast Multispecies Regular B Days-at-Sea Program and the U.S./Canada Haddock Special Access Program

· Review and Approve an Annual Catch Limit (ACL) Alternative for Amendment 16 to the Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) FMP.

Note, this is the first Council action to consider ACLs; many issues that will be discussed are expected to overlap with other management plans.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

8:30 a.m. Groundfish Committee Report: 2nd Session (Committee Chairman Rip Cunningham )

Review and approve alternatives to be developed and analyzed for Amendment 16 to the Groundfish FMP. Amendment 16 is a mid-course adjustment that will continue the rebuilding programs adopted in Amendment 13. Alternatives that will be considered include but are not limited to effort controls, sector administration, research set asides, annual catch limits and accountability measures, and allowing vessels to possess both a limited access scallop and groundfish permit.

Alternatives that are approved will be further developed and analyzed for a draft amendment and environmental impact statement that will be considered by the Council this June.

12:15 p.m. Lunch Break

1:15 Groundfish Committee Report: ? continued from the morning session

4:00 Other Business
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