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News and events

News & events

De Fur Named To Continue In Fisheries Management Council

August 19, 2015

Dr. Peter L. de Fur, Research Associate Professor in the Center for Environmental Studies and an Affiliate faculty member of the Rice Rivers Center, has been reappointed to the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council as the Virginia representative. The appointment lasts three years; in his role he will help address regulations for blueline tilefish, a new fishery under the Council's jurisdiction, how to recover the flounder population that is showing signs of compromise, and restoration of river herring.

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is responsible for the conservation and management of fishery resources within the federal 200-mile limit of the Atlantic off the coasts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

The Mid-Atlantic Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils created when  Congress passed Public Law 94-265, the Magnuson Fishery Conservation And Management Act of 1976 (also known as Magnuson-Stevens Act, MFCMA or MSA). The law created a system of regional fisheries management that was designed to allow regional, participatory governance by knowledgeable people with a stake in fishery management.

The regional fishery management councils develop fishery management plans and recommend management measures for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the east coast of the United States (3-200 miles). State jurisdiction extends from the shoreline to three miles out, and all coastal states have their own laws and fishing agencies to manage fisheries within three miles of their coasts. The councils recommend fishery management measures to the Secretary of Commerce through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The decisions made by the councils are not final until they are approved or partially approved by the Secretary of Commerce through NMFS.

The Council is made up of 21 voting members and four non-voting members. Seven of the voting members represent the constituent states' fish and wildlife agencies, and 13 are private citizens who are knowledgeable about recreational fishing, commercial fishing, or marine conservation. The four non-voting members represent the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Mid-Atlantic Council develops fishery management plans and management measures (such as fishing seasons, quotas, and closed areas) for thirteen species of fish and shellfish. Several of these species are managed under multi-species fishery management plans because they are found in the same geographic region or have similar life histories.

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Dr. deFur is one of two members with academic doctoral degrees; the other is a fisheries economist. Peter has experience conducting laboratory and field research on marine and estuarine species under the Council’s jurisdiction, and has worked on fisheries conservation and management for many years. In his first term, he chaired the committee that initiated the recent action to protect deep sea corals from fishery activities. Dr. deFur has been with VCU’s Center for Environmental Studies for more than 21 years, teaching graduate courses and advising graduate research projects.

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