DEEP: ASMFC Public Hearing on Draft Addendum V to the Atlantic Menhaden Fishery Management Plan

ASMFC Public Hearing on Draft Addendum V to the
Atlantic Menhaden Fishery Management Plan

September 23, 2011

The DEEP Marine Fisheries Division is hosting Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Public Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden management. These hearings have been scheduled to take place in Bridgeport, New Haven and Old Lyme in an effort to provide convenient locations for fishermen to attend. The Draft Addendum proposes establishing a new interim fishing mortality threshold and target (based on maximum spawning potential or MSP) with the goal of increasing abundance, spawning stock biomass, and menhaden availability as a forage species.

The Draft Addendum will also initiate the scoping process (comparable to that of a Public Information Document) on the suite of management tools that could be used to implement the new fishing mortality threshold and target levels. As in a PID, it will contain preliminary discussions of biological, environmental, social, and economic information, fishery issues, and potential management options for action through an addendum.

The MSP approach, as recommended by the 2009 peer review panel, identifies the fishing mortality rate necessary to maintain a given level of stock fecundity (number of mature ova) relative to the potential maximum stock fecundity under unfished conditions.  The Draft Addendum presents two options for the new interim fishing mortality threshold (status quo based on an MSP of 8% and an MSP of 15%) and four options for the interim fishing mortality target (status quo and F based on MSPs of 20, 30 and 40%). For illustration purposes, a 15% MSP would equate to a fishing mortality rate threshold required to maintain approximately 15% of virgin stock fecundity. The current MSP level is 8%.

The Atlantic Menhaden Management Board will meet in November at the Commission's Annual Meeting to review public comment and consider final action on the Addendum. Having gathered scoping information on management tools to implement Addendum V, the Board may also consider moving forward on a subsequent addendum to establish associated management measures.  The Board’s intent is to finalize these management measures for implementation in 2013.
       
Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum by either attending public hearings or providing written comments. Copies of Draft Addendum V are available at www.asmfc.org, Breaking News  or by contacting the Commission at 703.842.0740.   The public comment deadline has been extended to 5:00 PM (EST) on November 2, 2011 and should be forwarded to Toni Kerns, Senior Fishery Management Plan Coordinator for Management, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at tkerns@asmfc.org (Subject line: Menhaden Draft Addendum V).        

The FIRST hearing will be held at:

4:00 PM, Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science and Technology Center
60 St Stephens Road
Bridgeport CT

 The SECOND hearing will be held at:

4:00 PM, Wednesday, October 5, 2011
The Sound School
60 South Water St
New Haven CT

The LAST hearing will be held at:

7:00 PM, Wednesday, October 12, 2011
DEEP Marine Headquarters Education Center
333 Ferry Road
Old Lyme, CT

For further information, contact the DEEP Marine Fisheries Division by email at dep.marine.fisheries@ct.gov, by mail at P.O. Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371 or by telephone at 860-434-6043 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and service provider.  In conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, DEP makes every effort to provide equally effective services for persons with disabilities.  Individuals with disabilities who need this information in an alternative format, to allow them to benefit and/or participate in the agency’s programs and services, should call 860-424-3051 or 860-418-5937 or e-mail Marcia Bonitto, ADA Coordinator, at dep.aaoffice@ct.gov.  Persons who are hearing impaired should call the State of Connecticut relay number 711. Requests for accommodations must be made at least two weeks prior to the program date.

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