States Schedule Public Hearings on Draft Addendum XXX Options For Black Sea Bass Recreational Fisheries for 2018

States Schedule Public Hearings on Draft Addendum XXX

Board Seeks Input on Regional Management Options

for Black Sea Recreational Fisheries for 2018 and Beyond

 

Arlington, VA – Atlantic states from Massachusetts through Virginia have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addendum XXX to the Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan. The details of those hearings follow:

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

January 9, 2018 at 6 PM

Bourne Community Center, Room 2

239 Main Street

Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts

Contact: Nichola Meserve at 617.626.1531

 

Rhode Island Division of Fish & Wildlife

January 17, 2018 at 6 PM

University of Rhode Island Bay Campus

Corless Auditorium, South Ferry Road

Narragansett, Rhode Island

Contact: Robert Ballou at 401.222.4700 ext. 4420

 

Connecticut Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection

January 10, 2018 at 7 PM

Marine Headquarters

Boating Education Center (Rear Building)

333 Ferry Road

Old Lyme, Connecticut

Contact: Mark Alexander at 860.447.4322

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation

January 11, 2018 at 6 PM

Division of Marine Resources

205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1

East Setauket, New York

Contact: John Maniscalco at 631.444.0437

 

New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife

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January 4, 2018 at 6:30 PM

Galloway Township Branch of the Atlantic County Library

306 East Jimmie Leeds Road

Galloway, New Jersey

Contact: Peter Clarke at 609.748.2020

 

Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources & Environmental Control

January 3, 2018 at 6 PM*

DNREC Shoreline & Waterway Services Facility

901 Pilottown Road

Lewes, Delaware

Contact: John Clark at 302.739.9914

* Facility doors will not open until 5:30 PM

 

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

January 8, 2018 at 6 PM

Ocean Pines Library

11107 Cathell Road

Berlin, Maryland 21811

Contact: Steve Doctor at 410.213.1531

 

Virginia Marine Resources Commission

January 16, 2018 at 6 PM

2600 Washington Avenue

4th Floor Conference Room

Newport News, Virginia

Contact: Rob O’Reilly at 757.247.2248

 

 

Draft Addendum XXX was initiated to consider alternative regional management approaches for the recreational fishery, including options for regional allocation of the recreational harvest limit (RHL) based on historical harvest and exploitable biomass. The Draft Addendum also includes an option for coastwide management of black sea bass recreational fisheries should a regional approach not be approved for management.

In recent years, challenges in the black sea bass recreational fishery have centered on providing equitable access to the resource in the face of uncertain population size, structure, and distribution. Since 2012, the recreational fishery has been managed under an ad-hoc regional management approach, whereby the states of Massachusetts through New Jersey have individually crafted measures aimed at reducing harvest by the same percent, while the states of Delaware through North Carolina have set their regulations consistent with the federal waters measures. While this approach allowed the states flexibility in setting measures, some states expressed concerns about equity and accountability in constraining harvest to coastwide catch limits. Additionally, the 2016 Benchmark Stock Assessment provided information on the abundance and distribution of the resource along the coast that was not previously available to include in the management program.

Draft Addendum XXX proposes two approaches for regional allocation of the RHL in the black sea bass recreational fishery: (1) allocation based on a combination of stock biomass and harvest information, or (2) allocation based solely on historical harvest. The regional allocation options offer advantages over coastwide regulations by addressing geographic differences in the stock (size, abundance, and seasonality) while allowing for more uniformity in measures between neighboring states. The Draft Addendum also proposes an option for evaluating harvest and adjusting measures against the annual catch limit, which aims to reduce year to year changes in management measures.

Anglers and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on Draft Addendum XXX either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. The Draft Addendum is available athttp://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/BSBDraftAddendumXXX_PublicComment.pdf and can also be accessed on the Commission website (www.asmfc.org) under Public Input. To aid the submission of public comment, please refer to the decision tree found in Appendix III on PDF page 23, which outlines the management options being considered. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on January 22, 2018 and should be forwarded to Caitlin Starks, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, Virginia 22201; 703.842.0741 (fax) or at comments@asmfc.org(Subject line: Draft Addendum XXX).

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