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ASMFC SCHEDULES MENHADEN HEARINGS

The states of Rhode Island through Delaware have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addendum I to Amendment 2 the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.
By Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission  |  May 20, 2016
Tags: fisheries management
ASMFC SCHEDULES MENHADEN HEARINGS
The Draft Addendum proposes modifying the FMP’s bycatch allowance provision.

The states of Rhode Island through Delaware have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addendum I to Amendment 2 the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Menhaden. The details of those hearings follow.

Rhode Island Division of Fish & Wildlife
June 20, 2016 at 6:00 PM
University of Rhode Island Bay Campus
Corliss Auditorium
South Ferry Road
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Contact: Jason McNamee at 401.423.1943

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
June 28, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Marine Headquarters
Boating Education Center
333 Ferry Road
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Contact: David Simpson at 860.434.6043

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
June 29, 2016 at 6:30 PM
Bureau of Marine Resources
205 North Belle Mead Road
East Setauket, New York
Contact: Jim Gilmore at 631.444.0430

New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
July 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM
Atlantic County Library (Galloway Twp. Branch)
306 East Jimmie Leeds Road
Galloway, New Jersey
Contact: Russ Allen at 609.748.2037

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
June 23, 2016 at 6:00 PM
Easton High School
723 Mecklenburg Avenue
Easton, Maryland
Contact: Lynn Fegley at 410.260.8285

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
July 6, 2016; 6 PM
DNREC Auditorium
89 Kings Highway
Dover, Delaware
Contact: John Clark at 302.739.9914

The Draft Addendum proposes modifying the FMP’s bycatch allowance provision. Specifically, it considers allowing two licensed individuals to harvest up to 12,000 pounds of menhaden bycatch when working from the same vessel fishing stationary, multi-species gear - limited to one vessel trip per day. Bycatch represents less than 2% of the total coastwide landings.

The practice of two permitted fishermen working together from the same vessel to harvest Atlantic menhaden primarily occurs in the Chesapeake Bay pound net fishery. This practice enables the fishermen to pool resources for fuel and crew. However, the practice is currently constrained by the FMP’s bycatch allowance provision, which includes a 6,000 pound/vessel/day limit. The Draft Addendum seeks comment on whether the provision should be revised to accommodate the interests of fixed-gear fishermen who work together, as authorized by the states and jurisdictions in which they fish.

The intent of Draft Addendum I is to add flexibility to one element of the bycatch allowance provision while the Board prepares to address menhaden management more comprehensively through the development of Draft Amendment 3 to the FMP over the next two years. A subsequent press release on the public hearing schedule and Draft Addendum I availability will be distributed once state hearings have been scheduled.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. The Draft Addendum can be obtained at the ASMFC website. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on July 11, 2016 and should be forwarded to Megan Ware, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at mware@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Addendum I).

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