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ASMFC SUMMER MEETING THIS WEEK

While the big news coming out of Virginia this week relates to striped bass, a full slate of topics will be addressed August 6-8, 2019.
By Toby Lapinski  |  August 2, 2019
ASMFC SUMMER MEETING THIS WEEK
Changes they are a comin' for striped bass in 2020!

Beginning August 6, and concluding through the afternoon on August 8, representatives from the member states of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will be holding their annual Summer Meeting at the Westin Crystal City hotel in Arlington, VA. The agenda includes a variety of subject matter from several Management Boards including American Eel; Atlantic Menhaden; Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass; Tautog; Atlantic Striped Bass and more.

You can’t make the meeting but you still want to know what’s discussed? Well don’t fret as Board meeting proceedings will be broadcast daily via webinar beginning at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, August 6th and continuing daily until the conclusion of the meeting (expected to be 5:00 p.m.) on Thursday, August 8th. The webinar will allow registrants to listen to board deliberations and view presentations and motions as they occur. No comments or questions will be accepted via the webinar. To register, please sign up online.

You can view the complete meeting agenda and all supplemental materials online. In the meantime, here are a few highlights which are of interest to Fisherman Magazine subscribers.

Wednesday, August 7
Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board: 1-3:45 PM

  • Update on the Summer Flounder Management Strategy Evaluation: A Recreational Fishery Project
  • Discussion on Discard Mortality
  • Progress Update on the Recreational Management Reform Working Group

Thursday, August 8
Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board: 830 – 11:30 AM

  • Consider Draft Addendum VI for Public Comment
  • Consider Postponed Motions from April 2019
    • Main Motion: Move to initiate an Amendment to the Atlantic Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan to address the needed consideration for change on the issues of fishery goals and objectives, empirical/biological/spatial reference points, management triggers, rebuilding biomass, and area-specific management. Work on this Amendment will begin upon the completion of the previously discussed Addendum to the Management Plan.
    • Motion to Amend: Move to amend to add reallocation of commercial quota between states.

The subject of changing striped bass regulations has expectedly sparked some heated debates. Following the approval by the ASMFC of the benchmark stock assessment which indicates that striped bass are both overfished and being overfished, the Plan Development Team (PDT) was tasked with presenting a draft addendum for review by the ASMFC at the summer meeting this week. The initial addendum was designated to address the overfishing status of striped bass and implement measures to reduce F back to the target that would include:

  • Minimum fish size for the coast and a minimum fish size for the Chesapeake Bay
  • Slot limit that would prohibit harvest of fish over 40 inches
  • Mandatory use of circle hooks when fishing with bait coastwide to reduce discard mortality
  • A provision that states could use seasonal closures in conservation equivalency proposals
  • Apply needed reductions equally to both commercial and recreational sectors
  • Apply needed reductions proportionally based on total removals in 2017 to both commercial and recreational sectors

So with the arrival of the Summer Meeting this week, what management options have actually been put on the table? Here is a look directly from the Draft Addendum Vi To Amendment 6 To The Interstate Fishery Management Plan For Atlantic Striped Bass.

PROPOSED MANAGEMENT SCENARIOS

Keep in mind that these are subject to change and they are not the final slate of options to be voted on at the Fall Meeting taking place on October 27 – 31, 2019, in New Castle, New Hampshire. Before that time whatever is bartered, requested, altered and finally agreed upon will go out to public comment over the next 6 to 8 weeks. As soon as those meetings are scheduled we will pass the dates and locations to you.

As always, stay tuned for further details on this meeting and any breaking news right here at TheFisherman.com.

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