For Immediate Release - June 07, 2013

ASMFC Public Hearing on Atlantic Herring: July 15

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries will host an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) public hearing on Draft Addendum VI to Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Herring. Additional hearings will be held in Maine and New Hampshire. The date, time, and location of the Massachusetts hearing are:

July 15, 2013; 5:30 PM
Annisquam River Station
30 Emerson Avenue
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Contact: David Pierce at 617.626.1532

Draft Addendum VI proposes several changes to the Atlantic herring management program: (1) allow seasonal splitting of the annual catch limit sub-components (sub-ACLs) for Areas 1B, 2, and 3; (2) allow up to 10% carryover of a sub-ACL for all management areas; (3) establish triggers to initiate the closing of directed fisheries, and (4) use the annual specification process to set triggers. The Draft Addendum was initiated to establish consistent tools for all four management areas for Atlantic herring and to complement the New England Fishery Management Council’s Framework 2, which was submitted to NOAA Fisheries in February 2013. While the current Interstate FMP provides states the flexibility to split quota in Area 1A, it does not include provisions for seasonal splitting in Areas 1B, 2, and 3. The Draft Addendum proposes to allow for up to 10% of unused sub-ACL for all management areas to carry over from one year to the next. This provision would allow for unused quota to be rolled from one season to the next within the same fishing year. Additionally, the Draft Addendum proposes triggers that would close directed fisheries (1) in a management area when 92% of a sub-ACL is projected to be reached and (2) stock-wide when 95% of the ACL is projected to be reached. A 2,000 pound bycatch allowance would continue after directed fisheries are closed. The 10% rollover provision is intended to provide greater flexibility to herring industry, while the triggers are intended to prevent overharvesting in individual management areas and coastwide.

For full details, refer to Draft Addendum VI, available via the Commission’s website at http://www.asmfc.org/breakingNews.htm or by contacting the Commission at 703.842.0740. Written public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on July 19, 2013 and should be forwarded to Melissa Yuen, FMP Coordinator, at 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or myuen@asmfc.org (Subject line: Atlantic Herring Draft Addendum VI). For more information, please contact Melissa Yuen at myuen@asmfc.org.