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EVOLUTION is a Mussel Ridge 42 fi nished off by Gilbert Simmons of Friendship in 2014. She is powered with a 700-hp Caterpillar. ASMFC Atlantic Herring Section

Approves Draft Addendum I for Public Comment

Alexandria, VA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Section approved Draft Addendum I to Amendment 3 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Herring for public comment. Draft Addendum I includes management options to ensure the seasonal quota is dis- tributed throughout Trimester 2, are applied consistently by the states adjacent to Area 1A, and address excessive capacity. The Draft Addendum was initiated in

response to the accelerated rate of Area 1A Trimester 2 (June through September) landings in recent years and the increas- ingly dynamic nature of days out measures to control eff ort that have varied across states. The Section utilizes days out of the fi shery to slow the rate of Area 1A catch by restricting the number of available landing days. Landing reports indicate vessels are harvesting herring on days out of the fi sh- ery and transferring fi sh at‐sea to carrier or larger vessels until landing is permitted. The practice of fi shing outside of landing days has limited the eff ectiveness of the days out program in controlling the rate of harvest. The Draft Addendum presents six

management options to improve the perfor- mance of the Area 1A fi shery, ranging from restricting a vessel from landing fi sh caught on days out of the fi shery to limiting transfers

at sea as well as the amount a vessel can land per week. The document also seeks input on a tiered weekly landing limit for future management consideration. The Draft Addendum will be available

on the Commission website, www.asmfc. org (under Public Input) by February 10, 2017. It is anticipated Maine, New Hamp- shire, Massachusetts and New Jersey will be conducting public hearings in March/April. The details of those hearings will be released in a subsequent press release. The Section will review submitted public comment and consider fi nal approval of Addendum I at the Commission’s Spring Meeting in May 2017. For more information, please con-

tact Ashton Harp, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at or 703.842.0740.

ASMFC American Lobster Board Ap-

proves Draft Addendum XXV for Public Comment

Addendum Seeks to Address Southern New England Stock Declines

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries

Commission’s American Lobster Manage- ment Board approved Draft Addendum XXV to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fish- ery Management Plan for American Lobster for public comment. The Draft Addendum seeks to address the depleted condition of the Southern New England (SNE) stock while preserving a functional portion of the

SNE lobster fi shery. The document presents a suite of management measures to increase egg production and lower fi shing mortality through a combination of management tools including gauge size changes, season closures, and trap reductions. The Draft Addendum responds to the

results of the 2015 American Lobster Bench- mark Stock Assessment which found the SNE stock is severely depleted and experi- encing recruitment failure. Declines in pop- ulation abundance were most pronounced in the inshore portion of the stock where environmental conditions have remained unfavorable to lobster since the late 1990s. These stock declines are largely in response to adverse environmental conditions, in- cluding increasing water temperatures over the last 15 years, combined with continued fi shing mortality. Draft Addendum XXV focuses on

increasing egg production so that, if envi- ronmental conditions become favorable, the SNE stock can benefi t from a strong recruit- ment year. The Draft Addendum includes six issues. The fi rst proposes four targets to increase egg production, ranging from 20% to 60%, with an additional option for status quo. The second issue seeks input on proposed management tools to increase egg production and whether these tools should be used independently or in conjunction with one another. The third issue addresses the eff ects of proposed measures on the rec-

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reational fi shery. The fourth issue explores the implementation of season closures and potential impacts to the Jonah crab fi shery. The fi fth issue examines whether manage- ment measures should be uniform across Lobster Conservation Management Areas (LCMA) in SNE. The sixth issue asks how management measures should be applied to the off shore waters of LCMA 3, which spans both the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank and SNE stock units. The Draft Addendum will be available

on the Commission website, www.asmfc. org (under Public Input) by February 20, 2017. It is anticipated that the majority of states from Massachusetts through Virginia will be conducting public hearings; the details of those hearings will be released in a subsequent press release. The Board will review submitted public comment and consider action on the Addendum at the Commission’s Spring Meeting in May 2017. In other business, the Board initiated

development of Draft Addendum XXVI to respond to the need for improved harvest reporting and biological data collection in state and federal waters. The Draft Adden- dum seeks to utilize the latest technology to improve reporting, increase the spatial resolution of harvester data, collect greater eff ort data, and advance the collection of biological data off shore. The Board will re-

Continued on Page 12.

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