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Halfbeaks (Hemiramphidae)

Forage Species

Implementing regulations are found at 50 CFR part 648 subpart P

Forage species are small species that larger species in the food web consume, including predatory species sought by commercial and recreational fishermen. Recent scientific studies highlight the importance of forage species to marine ecosystems.

2018-2019 Forage Species Bulletins


Click Below for Past Bulletins (Permit Holder Letters):

2018-2019 Forage Species Federal Register Actions


 Click Below for Past Federal Register Actions & Public Comments:

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

Current Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR)

NOAA Fisheries partially approved the Mid-Atlantic Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment on June 16, 2017.  Regulations implementing this amendment will be effective on September 27, 2017.

This action maintains recent catch levels for certain forage species and species groups while collecting additional information on the catch of these species. All federally permitted vessels fishing in the Mid-Atlantic and dealers are required to report catch and landings of the forage species listed under reporting requirements, and adhere to a possession limits listed under management information.

We have developed a forage species identification guide that will help you identify forage species and the species code to use on your VTR or SAFIS.  The guide will be available at your local port agent’s office and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s website.

New or Expanded Fisheries

If you want to expand current or develop new fisheries for forage species and/or chub mackerel, you should first obtain an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) from our office to conduct an experimental fishery.  The Council will review the results of any experimental fisheries before considering any changes to measures implemented in this action

Commercial Management Measures:

Measures

Mid-Atlantic Forage Species*

Atlantic Chub Mackerel

Permit

All commercial vessels and operators that catch and/or possess Mid-Atlantic forage species and/or Atlantic chub mackerel must be issued a commercial vessel and operator permit from our office.

Annual Landing Limit

None.

 2.86 million lb, applicable to all chub mackerel landed in ports from North Carolina through Maine.

Possession Limit

1,700 lb per trip for all forage species combined.

Unlimited initially, but reduced to 40,000 lb per trip once the annual landing limit is caught.

Transiting provision

A commercial vessel may transit the Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit (chart and coordinates are listed below) with an amount of Mid-Atlantic forage species or Atlantic chub mackerel on board that exceeds the possession limits to land in a port in a state that is outside of the Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit, provided that the fish harvested outside of the Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit and that all gear is stowed and not available for immediate use while transiting.

*See reporting for complete list of Mid-Atlantic Forage Species

Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit:

Management Unit Coordinates

Point

Latitude

Longitude

1

40°59.32′ N.

73°39.62′ W.

2

40°59.02′ N.

73°39.41′ W.

3

40°57.05′ N.

73°36.78′ W.

4

40°57.87′ N.

73°32.85′ W.

5

40°59.78′ N.

73°23.70′ W.

6

41°1.57′ N.

73°15.00′ W.

7

41°3.40′ N.

73°6.10′ W.

8

41°4.65′ N.

73°0.00′ W.

9

41°6.67′ N.

72°50.00′ W.

10

41°8.69′ N.

72°40.00′ W.

11

41°10.79′ N.

72°29.45′ W.

12

41°12.22′ N.

72°22.25′ W.

13

41°13.57′ N.

72°15.38′ W.

14

41°14.94′ N.

72°8.35′ W.

15

41°15.52′ N.

72°5.41′ W.

16

41°17.43′ N.

72°1.18′ W.

17

41°18.62′ N.

71°55.80′ W.

18

41°18.27′ N.

71°54.47′ W.

19

41°10.31′ N.

71°46.44′ W.

20

41°2.35′ N.

71°38.43′ W.

21

40°54.37′ N.

71°30.45′ W.

22

40°46.39′ N.

71°22.51′ W.

23

40°38.39′ N.

71°14.60′ W.

24

40°30.39′ N.

71°6.72′ W.

25

40°22.38′ N.

70°58.87′ W.

26

40°14.36′ N.

70°51.05′ W.

27

40°6.33′ N.

70°43.27′ W.

28

39°58.29′ N.

70°35.51′ W.

29

39°50.24′ N.

70°27.78′ W.

30

39°42.18′ N.

70°20.09′ W.

31

39°34.11′ N.

70°12.42′ W.

32

39°26.04′ N.

70°4.78′ W.

33

39°17.96′ N.

69°57.18′ W.

34

39°9.86′ N.

69°49.6′ W.

35

39°1.77′ N.

69°42.05′ W.

36

38°53.66′ N.

69°34.53′ W.

37

38°45.54′ N.

69°27.03′ W.

38

38°37.42′ N.

69°19.57′ W.

39

38°29.29′ N.

69°12.13′ W.

40

38°21.15′ N.

69°4.73′ W.

41

38°13.00′ N.

68°57.35′ W.

42

38°4.84′ N.

68°49.99′ W.

43 *

38°2.21′ N.

68°47.62′ W.

* Point 43 falls on the U.S. EEZ.

Recreational Management Measures:

There are currently no recreational possession restrictions or reporting requirements for forage species caught in Federal waters at this time.

Commercial:   Vessel operators must comply with existing vessel trip report (VTR or logbook) requirements for reporting the catch of Mid-Atlantic forage species and Atlantic chub mackerel.  VTR codes for each of these species and species groups are listed in the table below.

Dealers:  Federally permitted dealers must comply with existing dealer report requirements through SAFIS for reporting the catch of Mid-Atlantic forage species and Atlantic chub mackerel.  SAFIS codes for each of these species and species groups are listed in the table below. 

Recreational: There are currently no recreational reporting requirements for forage species caught in Federal waters.  

We have developed a forage species identification guide that will help you identify forage species and the species code to use through SAFIS.  The guide will be available at your local port agent’s office and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s website.

Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Groups and Species
1,700 lb trip possession limit

Common Names/SAFIS Codes

VTR Code

Mid-Atlantic Forage Species

Anchovies

ANCH

Argentines/Smelt Herring

ARGT

Atlantic Saury

SAURY

Atlantic Thread Herring

HRAT

Cusk-eels

CSKEEL

Greeneyes

GREN

Halfbeaks

HALF

Lanternfishes

LANT

Other Crustaceans/Shellfish

CRUST

Pearlsides/Deepsea Hatchetfish

HATCH

Round Herring

HRRD

Sandlances

SAND

Scaled Sardine

SARSC

Silversides

SILNS

Spanish Sardine

SARSP

Unclassified Molluscs

MOLL

Atlantic Chub Mackerel

MACC

 Management Unit

Family/Group

Species

Anchovies (Family Engraulidae):

 

Striped anchovy (Anchoa hepsetus)

Dusky anchovy (Anchoa lyolepis)

Bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli)

Silver anchovy (Engraulis eurystole)

Argentines (Family Argentinidae):

 

Striated argentine (Argentina striata)

Pygmy argentine (Glossanodon pygmaeus)

Greeneyes (Family Chlorophthalmidae):

 

Shortnose greeneye (Chlorophthalmus agassizi)

Longnose greeneye (Parasudis truculenta)

Halfbeaks (Family Hemiramphidae):

 

Flying halfbeak (Euleptorhamphus velox)

Balao (Hemiramphus balao)

Ballyhoo (Hemiramphus brasiliensis)

False silverstripe halfbeak/American halfbeak/Meek’s halfbeak (Hyporhamphus meeki)

Herrings and Sardines (Family Clupeidae)

 

Round herring (Etrumeus teres)

Scaled sardine (Harengula jaguana)

Atlantic thread herring (Opisthonema oglinum)

Spanish sardine (Sardinella aurita)

Lanternfish (Family Myctophidae)

 

Horned lanternfish (Ceratoscopelus maderensisi)

Dumril’s headlightfish (Diaphus dumerilii)

Crocodile lanternfish (Lampanycuts crocodilus)

Doflein’s false headlightfish (Lobianchia dofleini)

Spotted lanternfish (Myctophum punctatum)

Pearlsides (Family Sternoptychidae)

 

Silver hatchetfish (Argyropelecus aculeatus)

Muller's pearlside (Maurolicus muelleri)

Weizman's pearlside (Maurolicus weitzmani)

Slope hatchetfish(Polyipnus clarus)

Sand Lances (Family Ammodytidae)

 

American/inshore sand lance (Ammodytes americanus)

Northern/offshore sand lance (Ammodytes dubius)

Silversides (Family Atherinopsidae)

 

Rough silverside (Membras martinica)

Inland silverside (Menidia beryllina)

Atlantic silverside (Menidia menidia)

Cusk-Eels (Order Ophidiiformes)

 

Chain pearlfish (Echiodon dawsoni)

Fawn cusk-eel (Lepophidium profundorum)

Striped cusk-eel (Ophidion marginatum)

Atlantic Saury (Scomberesox saurus)

Atlantic Chub Mackerel (Scomber colias)

Pelagic Molluscs (except Sharptail Shortfin Squid)

 

Neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii)

Oceanic squid (Todarodes sagittatus)

Atlantic brief squid (Lolliguncula brevis)

Bobtail squids (family Sepiolidae, Heteroteuthis dispar, Rossia megaptera, Rossia palpebrosa, Semirossia tenera, Stoloteuthis leucoptera)

Pteropods (orders Gymnosomata and Thecosomata)

Tuberculate pelagic octopus (Ocythoe tuberculate)

Copepods, Krill, Amphipods, and Other Species Under One Inch as Adults

 

Copepods (subclass Copepod)

Krill (order Euphausiacea)

Amphipods (order Amphipoda)

Ostracods (subclass Ostracoda)

Isopods (order Isopoda)

Mysid shrimp (order Mysidacea)