ASMFC Schedules Peer Review for Horseshoe Crab Benchmark Stock Assessment for March 26-28, 2019

Arlington, VA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Horseshoe Crab Benchmark Stock Assessment will be peer-reviewed on March 26 – 28, 2019 at the Commission’s office at 1050 N. Highland Street, Suite 200A-N, Arlington, VA 22201. The assessment will evaluate the horseshoe crab population along the Atlantic coast and inform the management of this species.  The peer review is open to the public, except for discussions of confidential data when the public will be asked to leave the room.

horseshoe crabs, harvesting, port mahon, delaware, kent county
Harvesting Horseshoe crabs at Port Mahon, Delaware

Confidential data (see NOTE below) are data such as commercial landings that can be identified down to an individual or single entity. Federal and state laws prohibit the disclosure of confidential data, and ASMFC abides by those laws. Each state and federal agency is responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of its data and deciding who has access to its confidential data.  In the case of this stock assessment and peer review, all analysts and reviewers have been granted permission by the appropriate agencies to use and view confidential data. When the assessment team needs to show and discuss these data, observers to the stock assessment process will be asked to leave the room to preserve confidentiality. For horseshoe crab, regional biomedical data and model runs that include these data are considered confidential, as well as any discussions around regional trends or stock status derived from these data. Additionally, the public and all other workshop participants will be asked to leave the room during the Peer Review Panel’s final deliberations.

blue blood, horseshoe crabs, delaware, sussex county, scientific research
Horseshoe crab’s blue blood after being snagged by a fish hook.
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A copy of the agenda for the peer review can be found here – For more information, please contact Patrick Campfield, Science Director, at or 703.842.0740.

NOTE: In determining what data are confidential, most agencies use the “rule of 3” for commercial catch and effort data. The “rule of 3” requires three separate contributors to fisheries data in order for the data to be considered non-confidential. This protects the identity of any single contributor. In some cases, annual summaries by state and species may still be confidential because only one or two dealers process the catch. Alternatively, if there is only one known harvester of a species in a state, the harvester’s identity is implicit and the data for that species from that state is confidential.         


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