About the NEFMC


The Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, (renamed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act when amended on October 11, 1996) established a U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between 3 and 200 miles offshore, and created eight regional fishery councils to manage the living marine resources within that area. The Act was passed principally to address heavy foreign fishing, promote the development of a domestic fleet and link the fishing community more directly to the management process.

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, was reauthorized and amended through January 12, 2007

Council Membership

(1) The Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (or her designee);

(5) The principal state official with marine fishery management responsibility (or their designee) for Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

(12) Twelve members nominated by the governors of the New England coastal states and appointed by the Secretary of Commerce for three-year terms (they may serve a maximum of three consecutive terms).

In addition, four non-voting members represent the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of State, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Financial Interest of Members
Council members may have an interest in any fishery-related harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing activity as long as they disclose the extent of this interest to the public. This ensures that knowledgeable fishing industry members can serve on the Council. Council members are not allowed to vote on matters that would benefit only them or a minority of other people within the same sector or gear group.

NEFMC member financial disclosure forms must be available for public inspection on the Internet and at the Council office. Details of this requirement are provided in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act - Section 302 (j) DISCLOSURE OF FINANCIAL INTEREST AND RECUSAL>.

Council Structure
To more efficiently develop alternatives and management measures for Council consideration and eventual inclusion in a fishery management plan, each Council member serves on one or more oversight committees. Committees are generally related to a specific fishery or management issue.
Council Structure

Oversight Committees meet regularly to review and discuss individual fishery management plans (FMPs) and develop specific measures that will form the basis of the plan, plan amendment or framework adjustment to an FMP. Oversight committee recommendations are forwarded to the full Council for their approval before inclusion in any draft or final version of an FMP.

Advisory Panels are made up of members from the fishing industry (from both commercial and recreational sectors), scientists, environmental advocates, and others with knowledge and experience related to fisheries issues. They meet separately or jointly with the relevant oversight committee and provide input and assistance in developing management plan measures. Advisors are appointed every three years following a solicitation for candidates. After reviewing applications, the respective oversight committee recommends new or returning advisors. The Council’s Executive Committee provides the final approval of advisory panel members.

Plan Development Teams (PDTs) are made up of scientists, managers and other experts with knowledge and experience related to the biology and/or management of a particular species. Individuals serve as an extension of the Council staff. PDTs meet regularly to respond to any direction provided by the oversight committee or Council, to provide analysis of species-related information and to develop issue papers, alternatives, and other documents as appropriate. A member of the Council staff generally chairs each PDT and the team members are from state, federal, academic or other institutions.