Atlantic States

The ASMFC became the major fishery management organization on the Atlantic Coast. In 1998, it became clear that CCA - the largest marine fishery conservation organization in the U.S. - would need to work with the ASMFC to affect the management of critically important Atlantic species. CCA created the Atlantic States Fisheries Committee as a subcommittee of the National Government Relations Committee. It is comprised of dedicated CCA volunteers working within the ASMFC system for better Atlantic fisheries management.

The CCA Atlantic States Fisheries Committee decides annually which species under ASMFC management are priorities. Representatives from the committee attend management board meetings and technical committee meetings. Attendance in this meeting process is critical to fully understand the biology and management of each particular species. The CCA Atlantic States Fisheries Committee then formulates goals for each species FMP and works with the ASMFC to implement them through state organizations and agencies.
 
Charles A. Witek III of New York, is the CCA Atlantic States Fisheries Committee Chairman. Richen Brame serves as the CCA Atlantic States Fisheries Director and staff member for the committee.

Articles about Atlantic States

ASMFC Menhaden Management Board Misses Historic Opportunity

Management body caves with vote to maintain failed management of menhaden
Posted on November 13, 2017

Presented with the historic opportunity to put in place much-needed protections for menhaden that recognize their ecological role, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Menhaden Management Board blinked, and instead opted for status quo management. In the months leading up to the vote, public sentiment was overwhelmingly in favor of better menhaden management, with more than 150,000 public comments in favor of Option E that would have taken into account menhaden’s unique ecological role as a forage fish.

CCA Comments on Amendment 3 to Menhaden Management Plan

Posted on October 23, 2017

AN ANGLERS GUIDE TO AMENDMENT 3 TO THE ASMFC’S ATLANTIC MENHADEN MANAGEMENT PLAN

Posted on September 07, 2017

Anglers Applaud Decision for Striped Bass Conservation

Proposed harvest increase for iconic sportfish shelved by Atlantic States Commission
Posted on May 11, 2017

Marine Habitat Monument celebrates reefing partnership

Posted on December 14, 2016

Old Dog, Same Tricks - When it comes to fisheries economics, NMFS just won’t learn.

Posted on October 27, 2016

Menhaden Math Doesn’t Add Up

Proposed commercial harvest increase jeopardizes menhaden plan
Posted on October 20, 2016

Many places along the coast are seeing more menhaden than they have in years, and it's a wonderful sight.

CCA Letter to ASMFC Urges Commission to Keep Commitment to Managing Menhaden

Posted on July 28, 2016

Next week the Atlantic Menhaden Management Board will set specifications for the 2017 fishery and provide further guidance to its Plan Development Team on Draft Amendment 3. These two issues are of the utmost importance to the Coastal Conservation Association. We urge you to keep your commitment to managing menhaden for predators, allow conservation to continue working, and avoid the impacts of regulatory whiplash. Be cautious and measured in your setting of the specifications and stay on the schedule previously established for the approval and implementation of Amendment 3.

Senators Nelson and Rubio Stand Up for Anglers and Boaters

Newly introduced marine fisheries legislation approved by the Senate Commerce Committee
Posted on June 29, 2016

Support for Citizen Science

Posted on March 02, 2016

My Limit is ONE

Recreational anglers fighting to preserve our marine resources.
Posted on January 06, 2014

Recreational anglers have an incredible opportunity to help out in a meaningful way.  We can also send a powerful message to fisheries managers up and down the coast.  We can use voluntary restraint in the fish we harvest and be more selective in our decisions.  What we are asking is this...

Menhaden Management Not Passing the Smell Test

Atlantic menhaden management takes a familiar, disturbing turn
Posted on July 02, 2012

Last week the Atlantic States Marines Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Stock Assessment Committee and Technical Committee met to finalize the stock assessment update and advice they may give the Board for managing menhaden.

Reduction Industry Crosses the Line

Posted on May 17, 2012

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Technical Committee (TC) and Stock Assessment Committee (SAC) process is supposed to be a simple one that allows the members, who come from state agencies, federal agencies and academia, to do the technical work necessary to manage marine fisheries. One primary object of this process is to allow only qualified, independent scientists to populate the committees, who can be expected to produce results that are not biased towards any one sector or another. Such scientists insulated from the grind of fishery politics are the very engine on which marine fisheries management runs.

Reduction Industry Crosses the Line

Posted on May 17, 2012

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Technical Committee (TC) and Stock Assessment Committee (SAC) process is supposed to be a simple one that allows the members, who come from state agencies, federal agencies and academia, to do the technical work necessary to manage marine fisheries. One primary object of this process is to allow only qualified, independent scientists to populate the committees, who can be expected to produce results that are not biased towards any one sector or another. Such scientists insulated from the grind of fishery politics are the very engine on which marine fisheries management runs.

Fisheries regulators cut menhaden catch to protect other species

Posted on November 10, 2011

A small silver fish, menhaden has outsized importance in the sea, serving as sustenance for many larger fish and providing vital oils for healthy human hearts. But the population of menhaden has plummeted to just 8 percent of its historical levels off the East Coast as overfishing has taken its toll.

A new day for menhaden management

Commission vote reduces menhaden harvest for first time ever
Posted on November 09, 2011

For the first time in history, there will be reductions in the harvest of Atlantic menhaden after a vote today by the Menhaden Management Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Menhaden, which serve as the primary forage base for most predatory fish, have declined to the lowest level ever recorded, sparking alarm in the recreational angling community which has long expressed concern over the impact of industrial menhaden harvest on sportfish stocks.

Two grants to remove derelict fishing gear from Long Island Sound

Posted on October 19, 2011

Restoration of the Long Island Sound marine habitat took a major step forward this week with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's announcement of two grant awards to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County (CCE) to identify and remove more than 118 tonnes of marine debris, including abandoned lobster pots, from the Sound. 

Help Save "The Most Important Fish in the Sea"

Posted on October 12, 2011

Send a message to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission today in support of stronger conservation for menhaden, an important forage fish.

Bluefin carcass washes ashore

Not known if related to harbor seal deaths
Posted on October 11, 2011

HAMPTON — A dead bluefin tuna washed up at Hampton Beach on Wednesday has a local marine biologist concerned because of the ongoing investigation into the recent deaths of dozens of young harbor seals.

No easy answer on stripers

Posted on September 30, 2011

I recently ran into a friend who spends time each year fishing for stripers in Massachusetts in the Cape Cod area. As he explained how his season went, it was clear that things were not up to his expectations.

Lionfish spreading throughout western Atlantic

Posted on September 17, 2011

Lionfish are members of the scorpion fish family and are native to the Indo-Pacific region. Since 2000, however, scientists have become aware of growing populations of lionfish in the Atlantic Ocean. Original sightings of these striking striped fish, with their showy fins, were made on reefs off the coasts of Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Bermuda. Since then, the fish have spread throughout the western Atlantic.

Maryland seeks sustainability seal for striped bass

Watermen hope label would boost share of market; politicians think it would help state's green reputation
Posted on September 16, 2011

Someday, perhaps as early as March, Maryland's striped bass may join the main ingredients of Europe's Filet-O-Fish sandwich on the list of fish known worldwide as abundant, well-managed and caught in environmentally friendly ways.

MFC votes to continue striper trawling, new speck FMP to come in November

Posted on September 12, 2011

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission reaffirmed its commitment to the status quo regarding management of striped bass and spotted seatrout at its meetings last week in Raleigh.

USS Radford's Sinking Could Be Delayed Again

Posted on August 07, 2011

The Atlantic coast will soon have the largest artificial reef of its kind when the 563-foot USS Radford is sunk 30 miles off the coast of Ocean City Md., but the big event is in jeopardy of being delayed for the second time in as many weeks.

Menhaden management moves up the food chain

ASMFC votes to give public its say on menhaden
Posted on August 04, 2011

Menhaden management has long been a sore point among conservationists as intense commercial harvest of the species in the Chesapeake Bay has added to factors believed to be negatively impacting striped bass and other gamefish all along the East Coast. The primary industrial harvester of Atlantic menhaden, Omega Protein, has never had its harvest effectively restricted and stands as one of the very few commercial fishing operations in the country to successfully avoid management measures that might impact its bottom line.

General Assembly Toughens Penalties for Striped Bass Poaching

Violators will face much higher fines, prison sentences of up to 90 days and forfeiture of boats and fishing equipment.
Posted on July 23, 2011

Poachers beware: Rhode Island has new, stiffer penalties for those who catch more than the legal limit on striped bass, or try to bag those that are too small.

Palmetto Moon donates $15K to conservation groups

Posted on July 14, 2011

South Carolina retail chain Palmetto Moon is donating $15,000 to two nonprofit, habitat-conservation groups.

Economics Make the Case for North Carolina Gamefish Bill

Recreational sector generates six times the jobs, 12 times the sales of commercial industry
Posted on April 19, 2011

North Carolina has the opportunity to increase the economic impact of fishery management to the entire state with a single bill - H.B. 353, a bill to make striped bass, red drum and speckled trout gamefish. According to a study released this week by Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina, the economic impacts of recreational angling for those three species dwarf those of the commercial sector and make a compelling case for legislative measures that enhance recreational fisheries.

Economics make the case for North Carolina gamefish bill

Recreational sector generates six times the jobs, 12 times the sales of commercial industry
Posted on April 19, 2011

North Carolina has the opportunity to increase the economic impact of fishery management to the entire state with a single bill - H.B. 353, a bill to make striped bass, red drum and speckled trout gamefish. According to a study released this week by Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina, the economic impacts of recreational angling for those three species dwarf those of the commercial sector and make a compelling case for legislative measures that enhance recreational fisheries.

Menhaden Management Finally Begins

ASMFC takes first steps to rebuild menhaden forage base
Posted on March 24, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, VA – For the first time ever, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission took steps to rein in the industrial harvest of menhaden and begin the process of managing the menhaden fishery. If adopted, the measures proposed today by the Menhaden Management Board would lead to a reduction of menhaden harvest in both the reduction and bait fisheries. 

VIDEO: CCA North Carolina Goes for Gamefish Status for Speckled Trout, Striped Bass and Red Drum

Posted on March 10, 2011

Click here for a video produced by CCA North Carolina to explain the chapter's efforts to seek game fish status for Speckled Trout, Red Drum, and Striped Bass.

Caught up in Catch Shares

Posted on February 16, 2011

Much has been made about the catch share issue in recent months. Catch shares are a poorly understood issue that has been made more complicated by an absolute avalanche of mistruths, half-truths, and outright lies swirling about it in fishing chatrooms and blogs across the country.

CCA North Carolina Seeks End to Trawling

Striped bass kills highlight need to end destructive fishing practices
Posted on February 10, 2011

In response to a rash of massive striped bass kills along the coast, CCA North Carolina will request the NC Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) to eliminate trawling of any kind as a permissible fishing gear for striped bass. 

Different Regulations, Same Result off North Carolina

Third massive bass kill photographed off Oregon Inlet
Posted on February 07, 2011

In a mistake that was entirely predictable, the state’s Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) has allowed the use of large trawl nets among large schools of striped bass. And, for the third time in less than three weeks, a massive striped bass kill has occurred. The latest example of "regulatory dead discards" was photographed from a helicopter off Oregon Inlet this week and was again evidenced by a long trail of dead striped bass in the vicinity of commercial trawlers. 

Maryland gill net closure announced

Posted on February 04, 2011

Maryland's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) just announced that the current commercial gill net season has been closed until the Department determines the extent of illegal nets and their impact on the remaining quota. The announcement follows the discovery of submerged nets near Bloody Point over the past several days that held more than 10 tons of striped bass. 

NOAA grants reprieve to South Atlantic anglers

New science removes threat of massive bottom closures in response to red snapper mess...for now
Posted on December 03, 2010

The rollercoaster of red snapper management in the South Atlantic took yet another turn this week when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a six-month delay in implementing large-scale closures to all bottom fishing as a management measure to recover red snapper stocks.

Recreational sector stands united against sector separation

Overwhelming opposition to management scheme at Gulf Council workshop
Posted on November 10, 2010

If the public comment period at the Sector Separation Workshop hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is any indication, recreational anglers are united against any proposal to separate the recreational sector into for-hire/charter and private boat angler categories. The three-day workshop was put on by the Gulf Council this week ostensibly to help managers and stakeholders gain a better understanding of sector separation as a proposed management tool for recreational fisheries.

Sportsman Channel and DISH Network Collaborate To Support Gulf Region Recovery Efforts

Sportsman SD and HD Now Available as A la Carte Option; New Subscriber Proceeds To Support Gulf Coast Fund & Coastal Conservation Association
Posted on August 31, 2010

In an effort to raise awareness and funds for Gulf regions working to recover from the recent oil spill disaster, Sportsman Channel will funnel this year’s proceeds from the a la carte pricing to a special “Sportsman’s Fund” created with the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) to benefit Gulf coast habitat restoration and research.  CCA is one of the largest non-profit marine conservation groups in America.

CCA NY Thanks Governor, Legislators for Prohibiting Commercial Striped Bass Fishery in the Hudson River

Posted on August 18, 2010

Coastal Conservation Association New York is taking this opportunity to thank New York’s Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, along with the members of New York’s Senate and Assembly, for enacting legislation which will protect New York’s spawning population of striped bass.  

Anglers Cautiously Optimistic After Recreational Fishing Summit

CCA participants hope to see results after meeting with NOAA Fisheries
Posted on April 21, 2010

Outdoorsmen were out in force at the nation’s capital last week as two events in Washington DC were dedicated to how this country manages its wild and natural resources.

CCA Comments to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission on Addendum II--Commercial Striped Bass Harvest Rollover

Posted on November 18, 2009

ASFMC Denies Increase in Commercial Striped Bass Harvest

Anglers rally to defeat proposal for commercial sector to kill more fish
Posted on November 03, 2009

Anglers rally to defeat proposal for commercial sector to kill more fish. 

Will a saltwater license really reduce the number of anglers?

Posted on September 21, 2009

CCA Comments on Weakfish Management

Posted on June 30, 2009

The collapse of the Atlantic weakfish stock is an enigma. For the first time there is no ‘smoking gun’ one can discern that caused the decline. But it is abundantly clear from both anecdotal fishermen’s reports and the most recent stock assessment that the decline is severe and continuing. Most disturbing is the Technical Committees projection that even under a total moratorium the stock will not recover by 2020. 

CCA Comments on Weakfish Management

Posted on April 14, 2009

CCA Calls for Denial of Longline Permits

Longliners seek extension and expansion of permits to fish in conservation zones.
Posted on December 18, 2008

Alarmed at the growing prospect of “longline creep,” conservationists are calling on the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to deny a request to extend and expand Exempted Fishing Permits issued in 2008 that cracked open the door for the commercial longline industry to fish in conservation zones created in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. 

Bluefin on the Brink

Posted on May 28, 2008

HOUSTON, TX – The Coastal Conservation Association Board of Directors is calling for Atlantic harvest levels of bluefin tuna to be reduced to levels supported by science and is urging the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to require all member nations to adopt such quotas by emergency action. 

Conservation Zones Spared

National Marine Fisheries Service denies request to open key conservation areas to commercial longlines
Posted on August 13, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC - Conservationists are hailing a decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to deny a request to allow longline fishing boats into conservation zones off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida that have been closed to the destructive commercial fishing gear since 2001.

The Price of Mismanagement

The bill for decades of overharvest has come due in the form of an overfished summer flounder stock
Posted on July 25, 2007

The most recent summer flounder stock assessment brought some unwelcome news to East Coast anglers last week and will almost certainly result in additional catch reductions for recreational fishermen. The assessment, conducted by National Marine Fisheries Service, indicated that years of mismanagement have finally caught up to summer flounder, and steps will have to be taken to set the recovery back on course.

Testimony Regarding Real Time Harvest Management in the Recreational Fishery

Posted on April 01, 2006

Good Morning, the Coastal Conservation Association is a marine fisheries conservation organization supported by 80,000 members from Maine to Texas. I coordinate CCA’s Atlantic fishery conservation activities in its 11 East Coast chapters with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. 

Testimony Before the National Academy of Science Committee to Review Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods

Posted on April 01, 2006

I am Richen Brame, Atlantic Coast Fisheries Coordinator for the Coastal Conservation Association.  Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you this afternoon on recreational fisheries data collection.