Baltimore, MD – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board met in Baltimore last week and approved two actions with regards to the 2013 recreational black sea bass fishery. Specifically, it approved opening the black sea bass recreational fishery for January and February with a 15 fish bag limit and a 12.5 inch minimum size limit and released Draft Addendum XXIII to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass FMP for public comment. The Draft Addendum proposes the use of state-by-state or regional measures to manage the 2013 black sea bass recreational fishery.
The management plan for black sea bass does not provide an opportunity to craft recreational measures by regions or state, it only allows for a coastwide measure. Due to the wide geographic range of this species, the application of coastwide minimum size, possession limit, and season restrictions may not affect every area involved in the fishery the same way. States were concerned the coastwide regulations disproportionately impact states within the management unit; therefore, they approved Addendum XXI and XXII which allowed for state-by-state measures in 2011 and 2012 for state waters only. Because Addendum XXII expires at the end of 2012 and the Board continues to have the same concerns for the 2013 fishing season, the Board initiated Draft Addendum XXIII. The Draft Addendum is intended to provide the necessary management flexibility to mitigate potential disproportionate impacts on states that can result from coastwide measures for 2013.
Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum. The Draft Addendum can be obtained via the Commission’s website at www.asmfc.org under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at 703.842.0740. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on February 6, 2013 and should be forwarded to Toni Kerns, Acting ISFMP Director, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Black Sea Bass).
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