public hearing July 6 on interstate fishery management plan for Atlantic menhaden

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to hold public hearing July 6 on interstate fishery management plan for Atlantic menhaden

 

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DOVER (July 5, 2016) – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife will host an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) public hearing on a draft addendum to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden at 6 p.m., Wednesday, July 6 in the DNREC Auditorium, Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

The draft addendum proposes modifying the current plan’s bycatch allowance provision by allowing two licensed commercial fishermen to harvest up to 12,000 pounds of menhaden bycatch when working from the same vessel and fishing with stationary, multi‐species gear, limited to one vessel trip per day. Bycatch represents less than 2 percent of the total coastwide landings.

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The practice of two licensed commercial fishermen working together from the same vessel to harvest Atlantic menhaden primarily occurs in the Chesapeake Bay pound net fishery. This practice enables the fishermen to pool resources for fuel and crew. However, the practice is currently constrained by the plan’s bycatch allowance provision, which includes a 6,000 pound per vessel per day limit. The ASMFC is seeking comment on whether the provision should be revised to accommodate the interests of fixed‐gear fishermen who work together, as authorized by the states and jurisdictions in which they fish.

The intent of the draft addendum is to add flexibility to one element of the bycatch allowance provision while the Atlantic Menhaden Management Board, of which Delaware is a member, prepares to address menhaden management more comprehensively through the development of an additional addendum to the plan over the next two years.

Anglers and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the draft addendum either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. The draft addendum is posted athttp://www.asmfc.org/uploads/file/573dd50fAtlMenhadenDraftAddendumI_PublicComment_May2016.pdfor on the Commission’s website, www.asmfc.org, under Public Input.

Public comment will be accepted until 5 p.m. Monday, July 11, 2016 and should be sent to Megan Ware, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland Street, Suite A‐N, Arlington, VA 22201; faxed to 703-842-0741 or emailed to mware@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Addendum I).

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