MD, VA to Hold Hearings on Striped Bass Draft Addendum II

Maryland and Virginia are among Atlantic states that have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addendum II to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The dates, times, and locations of the scheduled meetings follow:

Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources
June 17, 2010; 7:00 PM
Ocean Pines Library
11107 Cathell Road
Berlin, Maryland
Contact: Carrie Kennedy at (410) 260-8295

July 19, 2010; 5:30 PM
Tawes State Office Building, C1 Conf. Room
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland
Contact: Carrie Kennedy at (410) 260-8295

Virginia Marine Resources Commission
June 28, 2010; 6:00 PM
2600 Washington Avenue, 4th Floor
Newport News, Virginia
Contact: Jack Travelstead at (757) 247-2247

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 nmeserve@asmfc.org (Subject line: Striped Bass Addendum II). For more information, please contact Nichola Meserve, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator at (202) 289-6400 or nmeserve@asmfc.org.

source: ASMFC press release

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