The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

States Schedule Public Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden Draft Addendum I

Arlington, VA – The Atlantic coastal states of Maine through North Carolina have scheduled hearings to gather public input on the Draft Addendum I to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan, which considers potential changes to current provisions for commercial allocations, the episodic event set aside (EESA) program, and the incidental catch and small-scale fisheries (IC/SSF) provision. Some hearings will be conducted via webinar and some hearings will be conducted in person. The details of those hearings follow.

 

Date and Hearing FormatState/Agency Contact
Wednesday, September 7

Hybrid Hearing

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

New Hampshire Fish and Game Dept.

 

Note: This is a hybrid meeting (both in-person and virtual). Please follow the webinar registration instructions to attend virtually.

 

Hearing Location:

Urban Forestry Center

45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Cheri Patterson,
603.868.1095
Thursday, September 8

Webinar Hearing

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental ManagementConor McManus,
401.423.1941
Tuesday, September 13

In-Person Hearing

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Maine Dept. of Marine Resources

 

Hearing Location

Marquardt Building, Room 118

32 Blossom Lane

Augusta, Maine 04333

Megan Ware, 207.446.0932
Wednesday, September 14

In-Person Hearing

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

 

Hearing Location

30 Emerson Ave

Gloucester, MA 01930

Nichola Meserve, 978.619.0017
Thursday, September 15

In-Person Hearing

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation

 

Hearing Location:

NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources

123 Kings Park Blvd (inside Nissequogue River States Park), Kings Park, NY 11754

Maureen Davidson, 631.444.0483
Wednesday, September 21

In-Person Hearing

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

 

Virginia Marine Resources Commission

 

Hearing Location:

VIMS Waterman’s Hall

McHugh Auditorium

1375 Greate Road

Gloucester Point, VA 23062

Shanna Madsen,
747.247.2247
Thursday, September 22

In-Person Hearing

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries

 

Hearing location:

Pamlico District Office

943 Washington Square Mall
Highway 17
Washington, NC 27889

Chris Batsavage, 252.808.8009
Monday, September 26

Hybrid Hearing

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources, Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife & Potomac River Fisheries Commission

 

Note: This is a hybrid meeting (both in-person and virtual). Please follow the webinar registration instructions to attend virtually.

 

Hearing Location

Tawes State Office Building

C-1 Conference Room

580 Taylor Avenue

Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Lynn Fegley (MD), 410.260.8285

 

John Clark (DE), 302.739.9108

 

Martin Gary (PRFC), 804.224.7148

Tuesday, September 27

Webinar Hearing

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

New Jersey Dept. of Environmental ProtectionJoe Cimino, 609.748.2063

The Draft Addendum’s proposed options consider changes to the baseline quota of 0.5% and the time series that apportions the remaining quota to each jurisdiction, which is currently historic landings from 2009 to 2011. Furthermore, options within the Draft Addendum consider giving the Board the ability to change the proportion of the EESA from 1% up to 5%, with the option to make the potential change static with the approval of the Draft Addendum or dynamic such that the Board can reset it during the specification process. The Draft Addendum proposes a number of options to modify the IC/SSF provision in four major categories: the timing of the provision, permitted gear types, trip limits for permitted gear types, and catch accounting for the provision.

The Board initiated Draft Addendum I in August 2021 in response to the recommendations of a Board work group charged with evaluating provisions of the current management program and providing strategies to refine those provisions. Since Amendment 3 was adopted in 2017, the EESA and IC/SSF provisions have been impacted by recent trends in landings. The impacts have been most notable in New England, where states rely on the EESA to keep their commercial fisheries open while working to secure quota transfers and an increasing abundance of menhaden in New England has led to a rise in landings under the IC/SSF provision once commercial quotas have been met. The options in the Draft Addendum aim to align state quotas with recent landings and resource availability while maintaining access to the resource for all states, reduce dependence on quota transfers, and minimize regulatory discards.

Webinar Instructions

Please note that in order to comment during virtual webinar hearings you will need to use your computer or download the GoToWebinar app for your phone. Those joining by phone only will be limited to listening to the presentation and will not be able to provide input. In those cases, you can send your comments to staff via email or U.S. mail at any time during the public comment period. To attend the webinar in listen only mode, dial +1 (562) 247-8422 and enter access code 554-780-342.

To register for a virtual public hearing webinar please click HERE and select the hearing(s) you plan to attend from the dropdown menu. Hearings will be held via GoToWebinar, and you can join the webinar from your computer, tablet or smartphone. If you are new to GoToWebinar, you can download the software by (clicking here) or via the App store under GoToWebinar. We recommend you register for the hearing well in advance of the hearing since GoToWebinar will provide you with a link to test your device’s compatibility with the webinar. If you find your device is not compatible, please contact the Commission at info@asmfc.org (subject line: GoToWebinar help) and we will try to get you connected. We also strongly encourage participants to use the computer voice over internet protocol (VoIP) so you can ask questions and provide input at the hearing. If you are joining the webinar but will not be using VoIP, you can may also call in at +1 (562) 247-8422, access code 554-780-342. An audio PIN will be provided to you after joining the webinar.

For those who cannot attend any in-person or virtual hearings, the Commission will also post a recording of the hearing presentation on the Commission’s YouTube page so that stakeholders may watch the presentation and submit comment at any time during the comment process. This recording will be available in early September; a subsequent press release will announce the availability of the recording.

Submitting Comments

The Draft Addendum is available at http://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/AtlMenhadenDraftAddendumI_PublicComment_Aug2022.pdf or via the Commission’s website at http://www.asmfc.org/about-us/public-input. All those interested in the management of Atlantic menhaden are encouraged to provide input either by participating in public hearings, which may be conducted via webinar, or providing written comment. Public comment will be accepted until 11:59 PM (EST) on September 30 and should be sent to James Boyle, FMP Coordinator, at 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, Virginia 22201 or at comments@asmfc.org (Subject line: Atlantic Menhaden Draft Addendum I).

Comments received during a public comment period on a proposed management action play an important role in the Commission’s fisheries management process. All comments, whether they are individually submitted or as part of a larger, coordinated stakeholder response, are considered equally by a species management board when it determines final management action. When staff compiles all comments received, they use a categorization process to help the board effectively and efficiently navigate submitted public comment, whether it is 50 or 300,000 comments. Three or more comments that have the same language or state support for an organization’s comments are considered form letters. However, if the commenter provides additional comments/rationale related to a potential management action beyond the organization’s or letter’s comments, then it is considered an individual comment.

If your organization is planning to release an action alert in response to the Draft Addendum, please contact James Boyle at jboyle@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740, so he can work with you to develop a unique subject line to enable us to better organize and summarize incoming comments for Board review.

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