DEEP: Notice of Public Hearing

Notice of Public Hearing 
June 15, 2016

ASMFC Coastal Sharks Draft Addendum IV and Menhaden Draft Addendum I
CT DEEP Marine Fisheries Division is hosting a Public Hearing to get input on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commissionís Draft Addendum IV to the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Sharks and Draft Addendum I to the Fishery Management Plan for Menhaden.
 
The hearing will be held at:
7:00 PM, Tuesday, June 28, 2016
CT DEEP Marine Headquarters
Boating Education Center (rear building)
333 Ferry Road
Old Lyme CT
Coastal Sharks
The purpose of Draft Addendum IV to the interstate fishery management plan (FMP) for Coastal Sharks is to maintain consistency between federal and state FMPs, where possible, and to better incorporate the intent of the smooth dogfish limited exception in the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 into state regulations.
Under current regulations, commercial fishermen with only a state commercial fishing license can land smooth dogfish with corresponding fins removed from the carcass. The Draft Addendum proposes to amend the FMP to allow smooth dogfish carcasses to be landed with corresponding fins removed from the carcass as long as the total retained catch, by weight, is composed of at least 25 percent smooth dogfish. This option is consistent with the federal catch composition requirement, which was included in NOAA Fisheriesí final rule for Amendment 9.

Fishermen 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 can be obtained at
http://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/CoastalSharksDraftAddendumIV_PublicComment.pdf
or via the Commissionís website, www.asmfc.org, under Public Input. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on July 11, 2016 and should be forwarded to Ashton Harp, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at aharp@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Addendum IV).

Menhaden
Draft Addendum I to Amendment 2 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Menhaden proposes modifying the FMPís bycatch allowance provision. Specifically, it considers allowing two licensed individuals to harvest up to 12,000 pounds of menhaden bycatch when working from the same vessel fishing stationary, multi-species gear - limited to one vessel trip per day. Bycatch represents less than 2% of the total coastwide landings.

The practice of two permitted 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 FMPís bycatch allowance provision, which includes a 6,000 pound/vessel/day limit. The Draft Addendum seeks 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 Draft Addendum I is to add flexibility to one element of the bycatch allowance provision while the Board prepares to address menhaden management more comprehensively through the development of Draft Amendment 3 to the FMP over the next two years. A subsequent press release on the public hearing schedule and Draft Addendum I availability will be distributed once state hearings have been scheduled.

Fishermen 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 can be obtained at
https://www.asmfc.org/uploads/file/573dd50fAtlMenhadenDraftAddendumI_PublicComment_May2016.pdf or via the Commissionís website, www.asmfc.org, under Public Input. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on July 11, 2016 and should be forwarded to Megan Ware, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at mware@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Addendum I).

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any person with a disability who may need information in an alternative format may contact the agency's ADA Coordinator at 860-424-3194, or at
deep.hrmed@ct.gov. Any person with limited proficiency in English, who may need information in another language, may contact the agency's Title VI Coordinator at 860-424-3035, or at deep.aaoffice@ct.gov.  Any person with a hearing impairment may call the State of Connecticut relay number - 711.  Discrimination complaints may be filed with DEEP's Title VI Coordinator. Requests for accommodations must be made at least two weeks prior to any agency hearing, program or event.
 
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