For Immediate Release - February 27, 2013

Public Comment Period for Winter Flounder Addendum

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) is accepting public comment on proposed revisions to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Inshore Stocks of Winter Flounder. The proposed changes would allow the Commission to more quickly respond to changes in stock status and allowable harvest levels, by allowing its Winter Flounder Management Board to adjust specific commercial and recreational management measures (such as possession and size limits) through an annual specification setting process rather than a more lengthy addendum process. The Board action would be based on recommendations of the Winter Flounder Technical Committee following a review of available information.

The addendum also proposes a harvest control measure that would reduce the commercial trip limit when non-federal permit holders have harvested 75%, 85%, or 90% (options in the addendum) of the state waters annual catch limit sub-component (determined by NOAA Fisheries in their specification setting process). The harvest control measure is intended to reduce the likelihood of state waters harvest exceeding the sub-component.

For full details, refer to Draft Addendum III to Amendment 1 to the winter flounder plan. It is available via the Commission’s website at http://www.asmfc.org/press/ or by contacting the Commission at 703.842.0740.

Written public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on April 10, 2013 and should be forwarded to Melissa Yuen, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or myuen@asmfc.org. For more information, please contact Melissa Yuen. Final action on the Addendum is anticipated to occur in May.