The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Winter Flounder Management Board has approved for public review and comment Draft Addendum II to Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for the Inshore Stocks of Winter Flounder. The Draft Addendum proposes changes to the commercial and recreational management requirements for the Gulf of Maine (GOM) stock in response to updated stock status information and recent federal action to significantly increase the GOM winter flounder state waters annual catch limit (ACL) subcomponent. Specifically, the Draft Addendum proposes to increase the commercial trip limit for non-federally permitted fishermen from 250 pounds to 500 pounds and to expand the recreational season to a year-round fishery.
The ASMFC, in conjunction with the Division of Marine Fisheries, will hold a public hearing in Massachusetts as follows (other hearings will take place in Maine and New Hampshire):

October 4, 7:30 PM
(or after the 6:30 PM Northern Shrimp Hearing is completed)
MA DMF Annisquam River Station
30 Emerson Avenue
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Contact: David Pierce at 617.626.1532

Written public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on October 19, 2012 and should be forwarded to Toni Kerns, ISFMP Acting Director, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or (Subject line: Winter Flounder Draft Addendum II). Draft Addendum II is available on the Commission website at: links to PDF file under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at 703.842.0740. For more information, please contact Toni Kerns.