Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to Hold Virtual Joint Delaware-N.J. Public Hearing March 28

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will hold a joint Delaware-New Jersey virtual public hearing regarding the Recreational Harvest Control Rule Draft Addenda to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and the Bluefish FMP, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. The virtual hearing will be held Monday, March 28 from 6-8 p.m. To register for the hearing and for more information about providing input at the hearing, visit the ASMFC website.

The draft addenda considers changes to the process used by the ASMFC and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) to set recreational possession, size and season limit management measures for summer flounder, scup, black sea bass and bluefish. MAFMC is considering an identical set of options. Taking final action on the addenda will not implement any specific possession, size or season limits, but rather will start a new specification process for setting future management measures.

These potential changes are intended to provide greater stability and predictability in recreational fisheries management measures from year to year. The changes also will place greater emphasis on stock status when setting management measures. The draft addenda proposes five possible approaches for setting management measures. Key differences between the options include the information considered when setting measures, and the circumstances under which management measures would change.

The draft addenda is available on the ASMFC website, as is a reference guide to aid stakeholders in understanding the options contained in the draft addenda. The comment period for the Harvest Control Rule Draft Addenda runs until 11:59 p.m. EDT April 22, 2022 for providing input on the management of recreational summer flounder, scup, black sea bass and bluefish. Written comment should be sent to Dustin Colson Leaming, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, Virginia 22201; faxed to 703-842-0740; or submitted by email to comments@asmfc.org (Subject: “Harvest Control Rule”).

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Joint Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission-Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council hearings in Dover Feb. 19

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife will host joint Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC)/Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) public fisheries scoping hearings on Wednesday, Feb. 19 in DNREC’s Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. A Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment hearing will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendment hearing at 7 p.m.

The Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment will consider potential modifications to commercial and recreational catch allocations for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass in consideration of updated recreational and commercial fishing catch estimates.

The Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendment will update the goals and objectives of the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP); perform a comprehensive review of bluefish fishery sector allocations, commercial allocations to the states, and allocation transfer processes; and initiate a bluefish rebuilding plan.

Scoping is the first and best opportunity to provide public input regarding the issues being considered. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input on these proposed amendments either by attending the scoping hearings and/or providing written comments. Public comments will be accepted until 11:59 pm EDT on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and should be mailed to Dr. Christopher Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; faxed to 302-674-5399; or emailed to jbeaty@mafmc.org for the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Seabass Amendment or to mseeley@mafmc.org for the Bluefish Amendment.

The Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment scoping document can be found online at http://www.mafmc.org/newsfeed/2020/mafmc-asmfc-sfsbsb-allocation-scoping-hearings. The Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendment scoping document can be found online at http://www.mafmc.org/newsfeed/2020/supplemental-bluefish-scoping-hearings.

For additional information regarding these public scoping hearings, please contact the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

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