For Immediate Release - September 26, 2011

States Schedule Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden Draft Addendum V

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission News Release
PRESS CONTACT: TINA BERGER, 703.842.0740

Arlington, VA – Atlantic coastal states from Maine through North Carolina have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addendum V to Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden. The dates, times, and locations of the scheduled meetings follow:

Maine Department of Marine Resources
October 3, 2011; 6 – 9 PM
The Yarmouth Log Cabin
196 Main Street
Yarmouth, Maine
Contact: Terry Stockwell at 207.624.6553

New Hampshire Fish and Game
October 4, 2011; 7 PM
Urban Forestry Center
45 Elwyn Road
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Contact: Doug Grout at 603.868.1095

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
September 28, 2011; 7 PM
CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort-Boston
Newburyport Room
50 Ferncroft Road
Danvers, Massachusetts
Contact: David Pierce at 617.626.1532

Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife
October 5, 2011; 6:00 PM
URI Narragansett Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium
South Ferry Road
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Contact: Jason McNamee at 401.423.1943

Connecticut Dept. of Energy and
Environmental Protection

September 28, 2011; 4 - 6 PM
Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science &
Technology Center
60 St Stephens Road
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Contact: David Simpson at 860.434.6043

October 5, 2011; 4 - 6 PM
The Sound School
60 South Water St
New Haven, Connecticut
Contact: David Simpson at 860.434.6043

October 12, 2011; 7 PM
CT DEEP Marine Headquarters
333 Ferry Road
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Contact: David Simpson at 860.434.6043

New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife
September 29, 2011; 7:00 PM
Township of Toms River
33 Washington Street
L.M. Hirshblond Room
Toms River, New Jersey
Contact: Peter Himchak 609.748.2020

Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources &
Environmental Control

September 26, 2011; 7:00 PM
Lewes Field Facility
901 Pilottown Road
Lewes, Delaware
Contact: Jeff Tinsman at 302.739.4782

Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources
October 11, 2011; 6 – 9 PM
Tawes State Office Building, C1 Conference Room
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland
Contact: Lynn Fegley at 410.260.8285

Virginia Marine Resources Commission
October 17, 2011; 6 PM
Northumberland High School Auditorium
201 Academic Lane
Heathsville, Virginia
Contact: Jack Travelstead at 757.247.2248

Potomac River Fisheries Commission
October 18, 2011; 6:30 PM
John T Parran Hearing Room
PRFC Commission Building
222 Taylor St.
Colonial Beach, Virginia
Contact: AC Carpenter at 804.224.7148

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries
October 13, 2011; 6 PM
Dare County Administration Building, Room 168
954 Marshall C. Collins Drive
Manteo, North Carolina
Contact: Michelle Duval at 252.808.8011

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%.

Based on the revised 2009 Atlantic menhaden stock assessment, menhaden was not overfished but had experienced overfishing in 2008. Given the current overfishing definition, which sets the fishing mortality rate (F) target at 0.96 and the F threshold at 2.2, this is the first time overfishing has occurred since 1998. Over the time series, overfishing had occurred in 32 of the last 54 years. F in 2008 (the latest year in the assessment) is estimated at 2.28.

The 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 on the Commission’s website (www.asmfc.org) under 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).