The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) which manages inshore fisheries out to 3 miles will meet next week via webinar for their 79th annual meeting. Originally scheduled to be held in New Jersey, COVID restrictions will force the ASMFC’s annual meeting to go virtual.
According to the tentative agenda posted at ASMFC.org, the discussions will kick off on Monday morning, October 19 related to Atlantic Herring and winter flounder, with a full review of the winter flounder assessment during the afternoon.
On Tuesday, October 20, the Atlantic Menhaden Management Board will meet in the morning, with afternoon discussions related to Atlantic cobia, croaker, spot and red drum.
Following more discussion on menhaden, horseshoe crab and spiny dogfish on Wednesday morning, October 21, ASMFC will wade into the striped bass discussions that afternoon with discussions related to recreational release mortality and consideration of approval of state implementation plans for mandatory circle hook requirements in the striped bass fishery. It’s expected that all anglers fishing along the Atlantic coast will be required to use circle hooks when fishing natural baits for striped bass in 2021.
On Thursday, October 22, discussions will center around the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program and its coordinating council as well as the Interstate Fisheries Management Program Policy Board in the morning session, with the afternoon portion of the meeting centered around coastal shark specifications for 2021.
Comments received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 13 will be included in the supplemental materials, while official comments received by 10 a.m. on Friday, October 16 will be distributed electronically to Commissioners/Board members prior to the meeting. Comments should be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments must clearly indicate the commenter’s expectation from the ASMFC staff regarding distribution. For details go to ASMFC.org.