ASMFC Indefinitely Postpones Action on VA Compliance with Atlantic Menhaden Amendment 3 Chesapeake Bay Reduction Fishery Cap

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Arlington, VA – The Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden Management Board postponed indefinitely action to find the Commonwealth of Virginia out of compliance with the provisions of Amendment 3 to the Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden, specifically the Commonwealth’s failure to implement the Chesapeake Bay reduction fishery cap of 51,000 mt. This action is contingent upon the Chesapeake Bay reduction fishery not exceeding the cap. If the cap is exceeded, the Board can reconsider the issue of compliance. 

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In making its decision, the Board took into account the fact that reduction fishery harvest within the Chesapeake Bay has been below the cap level since 2012, including 2018 harvest. During its deliberations, the Board commended Virginia Commissioners on their efforts to monitor landings and work with the Commonwealth’s General Assembly to seek full implementation of the provisions of Amendment 3. While the Bay cap was established as a precautionary measure given the importance of menhaden as a prey species, additional information stemming from the development of ecological-based reference points (ERPs) may be informative to the Bay cap issue. Accordingly, the Board will consider action to modify the Bay cap after it completes action on ERPs, anticipated for 2020. 

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