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Scheduled for the week of October 27 - 30, the 73rd Annual ASMFC Annual Meeting will cover a wide range of topics including fisheries management on striped bass, American eel, cancer crab and more.
By Toby Lapinski  |  October 1, 2014
Tags: fisheries management

The 73rd Annual Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission’s annual meeting is being held this year at the Mystic Hilton, 20 Coogan Boulevard, Mystic, Connecticut. There will be a wide range of topics addressed at the meeting including such popular species as striped bass, American eel, winter flounder, lobster and fluke. All of the business meetings scheduled during this week (with the exception of closed sessions) are open to the public, free of charge. However, if you would like to attend any of the social events then you must register in advance and pay upon arrival.

Please note that the agenda listed below is subject to change and bulleted items represent the major issues to be discussed or acted upon at the meeting. The final agenda will include additional items and may revise the bulleted items provided below. The agenda reflects the current estimate of time required for scheduled Board meetings. The Commission may adjust this agenda in accordance with the actual duration of Board meetings. Interested parties should anticipate Boards starting earlier or later than indicated herein.

Public Comment Guidelines
With the intent of developing policies in the Commission’s procedures for public participation that result in a fair opportunity for public input, the ISFMP Policy Board has approved the following guidelines for use at management board meetings:

For issues that are not on the agenda, management boards will continue to provide opportunity to the public to bring matters of concern to the board’s attention at the start of each board meeting. Board chairs will use a speaker sign-up list in deciding how to allocate the available time on the agenda (typically 10 minutes) to the number of people who want to speak.

For topics that are on the agenda, but have not gone out for public comment, board chairs will provide limited opportunity for comment, taking into account the time allotted on the agenda for the topic. Chairs will have flexibility in deciding how to allocate comment opportunities; this could include hearing one comment in favor and one in opposition until the chair is satisfied further comment will not provide additional insight to the board.

For agenda action items that have already gone out for public comment, it is the Policy Board’s intent to end the occasional practice of allowing extensive and lengthy public comments. Currently, board chairs have the discretion to decide what public comment to allow in these circumstances.

In addition, the following timeline has been established for the submission of written comment for issues for which the Commission has NOT established a specific public comment period (i.e., in response to proposed management action).

1. Comments received 3 weeks prior to the start of a meeting week will be included with the main meeting materials.
2. Comments received by 5:00 PM on the Tuesday immediately preceding the scheduled ASMFC Meeting (in this case, the Tuesday deadline will be October 21, 2014) will be distributed electronically to Commissioners/Board members prior to the meeting and a limited number of copies will be provided at the meeting.
3. Following the Tuesday, October 21, 2014 5:00 PM deadline, the commenter will be responsible for distributing the information to the management board prior to the board meeting or providing enough copies for the management board consideration at the meeting (a minimum of 50 copies).

The submitted comments must clearly indicate the commenter’s expectation from the ASMFC staff regarding distribution. As with other public comment, it will be accepted via mail, fax, and email.

Preliminary Agenda:

October 26
2 - 5:30 PM Registration

October 27
7:30 AM - 1 PM Registration

8 - 9:30 AM
Atlantic Herring Section

  • Review and Consider Approval of Draft Amendment 3 for Public Comment
  • Set 2015 Specifications

8 AM - 5 PM
Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership

  • Review and Rank FY2015 Habitat Restoration Proposals
  • Initiate Review of ACFHP 5-year Conservation Strategic Plan
  • Presentation on Atlantic Coast Diadromous Fish Habitat Assessment
  • Presentation on Climate Change Impacts to Coastal Fish Habitats

8 AM - 5 PM
Management and Science Committee

  • Overview of FishSmart/Barotrauma Program and Tools
  • Overview of Research Set Aside Program
  • NMFS Climate Change Vulnerability Analysis
  • Review New ASMFC Webpage for Commercial/Recreational Regulations by State/Species
  • Science Center for Marine Fisheries (SCEMFIS) Presentation
  • Review Stock Assessment Schedule
  • Program Updates

9:45 - 10:45 AM
Winter Flounder Management Board

  • Review Northeast Fisheries Science Center Stock Assessment Update for Gulf of Maine Winter Flounder
  • Review Update of Abundance and Biomass Indices for Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Winter Flounder
  • Set 2015 Specifications

11 AM - 6 PM
American Eel Management Board

  • Review and Consider Final Approval of Addendum IV

3 - 6 PM Registration

6:30 PM Welcome Reception at Mystic Aquarium

October 28
7:30 AM - 1 PM Registration

8 - 10 AM
American Lobster Management Board

  • Public Comment Summary of the Cancer Crab Public Information Document
  • Board Guidance on Development of Management Options for Draft FMP for Cancer Crab
  • Review Lobster Gear and Trap Transfer Inconsistencies in State/Federal Waters
  • Review LCMT Reports and Proposals on Southern New England Reductions

8 AM - 5 PM
Habitat Committee

  • Overview of Action Plan 2015 and Work Plan
  • Review Publications in Progress: Habitat Hotline Atlantic (climate change impacts on fish habitats), Habitat Management Series (living shorelines, aquaculture), Sciaenid Habitat Management Document
  • Habitat Bottlenecks

9 AM - 5 PM
Law Enforcement Committee

  • Review of LEC Guidelines for Enforceability
  • State and Federal Agency Reports
  • Species Board Updates

10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board

  • Review Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Wave 4 Harvest Estimates for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass (if available)
  • Discuss Available Management Approaches for the 2015 Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Recreational Fisheries

10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) Executive Committee
(A portion of this meeting will be a closed session for Committee members only)

  • Review Progress of the Independent Program Review (IPR) Recommendations

1:30 - 2:45 PM
Business Session
Commission Chair and Vice-Chair Election

  • 2014 Action Plan Update
  • 2015 Action Planning

2 - 4:30 PM Registration

3 - 4:15 PM
ISFMP Policy Board & ACCSP Coordinating Council

  • Review and Consider Recommendations on the State Conduct of MRIP-APAIS

4:15 - 5:15 PM
ACCSP Coordinating Council

  • Consider and Approve Proposals for FY2015 Funding
  • Program Updates
  • Committee Updates
  • Update from Executive Committee on IPR Recommendations Progress

5:15 - 6 PM Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office Strategic Planning Workshop

6:30 - 9:30 PM Annual Dinner at the Mystic Seaport

October 29
8 - 10 AM
Executive Committee

  • Review Commission Two-thirds Voting Policy
  • Review Executive Director’s Priorities for 2015
  • Advisory Panel Involvement in FMP Development
  • Approve FY2014 Audit
  • Discuss Future Annual Meetings

10:15 AM - 6:30 PM
Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board

  • Review and Consider Final Approval of Addendum IV

Noon - 1:30 PM Captain David H. Hart Award Luncheon

October 30
8 - 9 AM
Horseshoe Crab Management Board

  • Review Updates on Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Abundance
  • Set 2015 Specifications
  • Review and Consider Approval of the 2014 FMP Review and State Compliance Report

9:45 - 11:15 AM
Commissioner Workshop on Fisheries Socioeconomics Using Atlantic Menhaden as a Case-Study

  • Overview of Social Science Evaluation
  • Overview of Economic Analyses
  • Management Scenario Interactive Workgroup Activity

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Coastal Sharks Management Board

  • Review NOAA Fisheries Highly Migratory Species Division Smoothhound Proposed Rule and Consider Development of Board Comments
  • Set 2015 Coastal Sharks Specifications

12:45 - 1:45 PM
Spiny Dogfish Management Board

  • Review and Consider Final Approval of Addendum V

2 - 4 PM
ISFMP Policy Board

  • Committee Reports: Fish Passage Work Group, Habitat Committee, Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership, Management and Science Committee
  • Consider Approval of Revisions to the ASMFC Committee Guidance and Assessment Process Document

4 - 4:15 PM Business Session (if necessary)

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