States Schedule Public Hearings on Atlantic Striped Bass Draft Amendment 7
Arlington, VA (Feb 16, 2022) … – The Atlantic coastal states of Maine through Virginia have scheduled hearings to gather public input on the Atlantic Striped Bass Draft Amendment 7. Some hearings will be conducted via webinar and some hearings will be conducted in person. Additional details on participating in the webinars can be found later in this release.
The public hearing details are as follows:
Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife
Thursday, March 10 .. Webinar Hearing 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
(When the link is available we will put that up)
Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources
Calvary United Methodist Church
301 Rowe Blvd, Annapolis, MD 21401
The Draft Amendment proposes options to address the following issues: management triggers, recreational release mortality, stock rebuilding plan, and conservation equivalency. These issues were identified during the public scoping process for Amendment 7 as critically important to help rebuild the stock and update the management program.
The Draft Amendment’s proposed options consider changes to the management triggers, which determine when the Board is required to make management adjustments, and whether to adopt new restrictions or requirements for the use of conservation equivalency, which provides the states the flexibility to tailor the management measures. For stock rebuilding, the proposed options consider the impact of low recruitment and how the Board could respond to the 2022 stock assessment if action is needed to achieve stock rebuilding by 2029. Since release mortality in the recreational fishery is a large component of annual fishing mortality, the Draft Amendment considers options to reduce the number of striped bass released alive and options to increase the chance of survival after a striped bass is released.
The last time a new plan amendment to the Atlantic Striped Bass FMP was adopted was in 2003 (Amendment 6). Since then, the status and understanding of the striped bass stock and fishery has changed considerably, and the results of the 2018 Benchmark Stock Assessment in particular led the Board to discuss a number of prominent issues facing striped bass management. Consequently, the Board initiated the development of Amendment 7 in August 2020 to update the management program to better align with current fishery needs and priorities. The Board intends for this amendment to build upon the Addendum VI to Amendment 6 action to end overfishing and initiate rebuilding in response to the overfished status of the stock.
Please note that in order to comment during virtual webinar hearings you will need to use your computer or download the GoToWebinar app for your phone. Those joining by phone only will be limited to listening to the presentation and will not be able to provide input. In those cases, you can send your comments to staff via email, U.S. mail, or fax at any time during the public comment period. To attend the webinar in listen only mode, dial 951.384.3421 and enter access code 269-324-049.
To register for a virtual public hearing webinar please click HERE and select the hearing(s) you plan to attend from the dropdown menu. Hearings will be held via GoToWebinar, and you can join the webinar from your computer, tablet or smartphone. If you are new to GoToWebinar, you can download the software by (clicking here) or via the App store under GoToWebinar. We recommend you register for the hearing well in advance of the hearing since GoToWebinar will provide you with a link to test your device’s compatibility with the webinar. If you find your device is not compatible, please contact the Commission at email@example.com (subject line: GoToWebinar help) and we will try to get you connected. We also strongly encourage participants to use the computer voice over internet (VoIP) so you can ask questions and provide input at the hearing. If you are joining the webinar but will not be using VoIP, you can may also call in at 951.384.3421, access code 269-324-049. An audio PIN will be provided to you after joining the webinar.
For those who cannot attend any in-person or virtual hearings, the Commission will also post a recording of the hearing presentation on the Commission’s YouTube page so that stakeholders may watch the presentation and submit comment at any time during the comment process. This recording will be available in late February; a subsequent press release will announce the availability of the recording.
The Draft Amendment is available at http://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/AtlStripedBassDraftAm7forPublicComment_Feb2022.pdf or via the Commission’s website at http://www.asmfc.org/about-us/public-input. All those interested in the management of Atlantic striped bass are encouraged to provide input either by participating in public hearings, which may be conducted via webinar, or providing written comment. Public comment will be accepted until 11:59 PM (EST) on April 15 and should be sent to Emilie Franke, FMP Coordinator, at 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, Virginia 22201; 703.842.0741 (fax) or at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Draft Amendment 7).
If your organization is planning to release an action alert in response to the Draft Amendment, please contact Emilie Franke at email@example.com or 703.842.0740, so she can work with you to develop a unique subject line to enable us to better organize and summarize incoming comments for Board review.