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September 2013 MAINE COASTAL NEWS Page 11. MISCELLANEOUS COMMERCIAL FISHING NEWS


ASMFC Atlantic Herring Section Approves Addendum VI


Alexandria, VA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Herring Section approved Addendum VI to the Inter- state Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Herring. The Addendum improves alignment between state and federal Atlantic herring management by allowing the use of consistent tools across all four management areas of the species range. The Addendum’s measures include (1) seasonal splitting of the annual catch limit sub-components (sub- ACLs) for Areas 1B, 2, and 3; (2) up to 10% carryover of a sub-ACL for all management areas; (3) the establishment of triggers to initiate the closing of directed fi sheries, and (4) using the annual specifi cation process to set triggers. Addendum VI was developed to com- plement the New England Fishery Manage- ment Council’s Framework 2, which was released as a proposed rule on August 2, with a comment period ending on Septem- ber 3. While the current Interstate Atlantic Herring FMP provides states the fl exibility to split quota in Area 1A, it does not include provisions for seasonal splitting in Areas 1B, 2, and 3. The Addendum allows for up to 10% of unused sub-ACL for all manage- ment areas to carry over from one year to the following year after fi nal landings data have been released. This provision also allows unused quota to be rolled from one season to the next within the same fi shing year. The Addendum establishes triggers to close directed fi sheries in a management area when 92% of a sub-ACL is projected to be reached and stock-wide when 95% of the ACL is projected to be reached. A 2,000 pound bycatch allowance continues


after directed fi sheries are closed. The 10% rollover provision is intended to provide greater fl exibility to herring industry, while the triggers are intended to prevent overhar- vesting in individual management areas and coastwide. States must implement Adden- dum VI’s measures on or before January 1, 2014.


The Addendum will available on the Commission website (www.asmfc.org) un- der “Breaking News” by mid-August. For more information, please contact Melissa Yuen, Fishery Management Plan Coordina- tor at 703.842.0740 or via email at myuen@ asmfc.org.


ASMFC American Eel Board


Approves Addendum III and Initiates Draft Addendum IV


Alexandria, VA – The Commission’s Amer- ican Eel Management Board approved Addendum III to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Eel and ini- tiated development of Draft Addendum IV. Given the scope of issues addressed in Draft Addendum III and the wide range of input received through public comment, the Board decided to divide the issues between the two addenda, with Draft Addendum IV primarily focusing on management measures for the glass eel fi shery.


Addendum III establishes a 9” mini- mum size limit for recreational and commer- cial yellow eel fi sheries, trip-level reporting for the commercial yellow eel fi shery, a seasonal closure of silver eel fi sheries, a 25 recreational fi sh per day creel limit, and measures to restrict the development of fi sh- eries on pigmented eels. It also calls for the implementation of state-specifi c monitoring programs and provides recommendations


for habitat improvements. States will be required to implement the Addendum’s measures by January 1, 2014. Draft Addendum IV will propose a suite of options to address the glass eel fi shery. These include, but are not limited to, the allowance of glass eel fi sheries in states where harvest is currently prohibited, a coastwide quota, monitoring requirements, enforcement measures and associated penalties, quota transferability, and timely reporting. The Draft Addendum will also include options for managing New York’s Delaware River silver eel weir fi shery. The Board will review and consider approval of Draft Addendum IV for public comment in October at the Commission’s Annual Meet- ing. If approved, Draft Addendum IV will be released for public comment during late fall/ early winter, with possible Board fi nal action in February 2014 and the implementation of management measures in 2014. The Board’s actions respond to the findings of the 2012 benchmark stock assessment indicating the American eel population in U.S. waters is depleted. The stock has declined in recent decades and the prevalence of signifi cant downward trends in multiple surveys across the coast is cause for concern. Causes of decline are likely due to a combination of historical overfi shing, habitat loss, food web alterations, predation, turbine mortality, environmental changes, toxins and contaminants, and disease. Commercial regulations vary by state.


Commercial Fishing News


Glass eel fi sheries currently occur in Maine and South Carolina. Signifi cant yellow eel fi sheries occur in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, the Potomac River, Virginia, and North Carolina. Although commercial fi shery landings and effort in recent times have declined in most regions, current levels of fi shing effort may still be too high given the depleted nature of the stock. Given the current status of the fi shery and resource, the Board approved Addendum III in order to reduce overall mortality of American eel, and will consider further conservation measures in Draft Addendum IV. Addendum III will be available on the Commission website (www.asmfc.org) under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at 703.842.0740. For more information, please contact Kate Taylor, Senior FMP Coordinator, at ktaylor@asmfc. org or 703.842.0740.


ASMFC American Lobster Board


Approves Addendum XXI and Initiates Draft Addendum XXII


Alexandria, VA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s American Lobster Management Board approved Addendum XXI to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fish- ery Management Plan for American Lobster and moved the issues pertaining to single and aggregate ownership caps in Lobster Conservation Management Area (LCMA) 3


Continued on Page 12.


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