Public Comment Accepted Until October 1
Washington, DC – Atlantic coastal states from Maine through North Carolina have scheduled their hearings togather public comment onDraft Addendum II to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The dates, times, and locations in Eastern New England of the scheduled meetings follow:
Maine Department of Marine Resources
September 14, 2010; 6:00 PM
Town of Yarmouth Log Cabin
196 Main Street
Contact: Terry Stockwell at (207) 624-6553
New Hampshire Fish and Game
September 13, 2010; 7:00 PM
Urban Forestry Center
45 Elwyn Road
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Contact: Doug Grout at (603) 868-1095
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
August 16, 2010; 6:00 PM
55 Ariadne Road
Contact: Jared Silva at (617) 626-1534
Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife
August 17, 2010; 6:00 PM
URI, Narragansett Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium
215 South Ferry Road
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Contact: Mark Gibson at (401) 423-1935
The Draft Addendum proposes two changes to the striped bass management program: (1) an increase in the coastal commercial quota, and (2) revising the definition of recruitment failure based on Technical Committee advice.
The proposal to increase the coastal commercial quota is intended to improve equality between the commercial and recreational fishery sectors. Although Amendment 6 established management programs for both fisheries based on the same target fishing mortality rate, the implementation of state-specific quotas for coastal commercial harvest (and not for recreational harvest) has prevented the commercial and recreational fisheries from responding equally to changes in striped bass population size. Since 2003, coastal commercial harvest has decreased by 3.6 percent, while recreational harvest has increased by 13.7 percent. Under the option, the Board would select a percent increase to be applied to the coastal commercial allocations assigned in Amendment 6.
The Management Board voted to include a second issue in the Draft Addendum based on information presented at the meeting. As part of its review of the juvenile abundance indices, the Striped Bass Technical Committee recommended to the Management Board a revision to how striped bass recruitment failure is defined. Juvenile abundance indices are an important component of the striped bass monitoring program and are used to determine periods of recruitment failure which can trigger management action under Amendment 6. Adopting the proposed recommendation would result in a fixed value to determine recruitment failure in each surveyed area rather than a value that changes from year to year. Use of either the Amendment 6 definition or the Technical Committee recommendation for recruitment failure does not result in any necessary changes to the current management program.
Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum, either by attending public hearings or providing written comments. The Draft Addendum can be obtained via the Commission’s website at www.asmfc.org under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at (202) 289-6400. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on October 1, 2010 and should be forwarded to Nichola Meserve, FMP Coordinator, 1444 Eye Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 289-6051 (FAX) or at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Striped Bass Addendum II). For more information, please contact Nichola Meserve, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator at (202) 289-6400 or email@example.com.