Fishermen Invited to Comment on Black Sea Bass Management
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board (Board) has approved Draft Addendum XXII for public comment. The Draft Addendum proposes a program wherein the Board divides the recreational black sea bass coastwide allocations into state-by-state management for 2012 only.
The management plan for black sea bass does not provide an opportunity to craft recreational measures by regions or state, it only allows for a coastwide measure. Due to the wide geographic range of this species, the application of coastwide minimum size, possession limit, and season restrictions may not affect every area involved in the fishery the same way. States were concerned that the coastwide regulations disproportionately impacted states within the management unit; therefore, they approved Addendum XXI which allowed for state-by-state measures in 2011 for state waters only. Because Addendum XXI expired at the end of 2011 and the Board continues to have the same concerns for the 2012 fishing season, the Board initiated Draft Addendum XXII. The Draft Addendum is intended to provide the necessary management flexibility to mitigate potential disproportionate impacts on states that can result from coastwide measures for 2012.
Only one state (New York) has scheduled a public hearing on the Draft Addendum, which will be held as part of New York’s Marine Resources Advisory Council Meeting, scheduled for January 17, 2012 at 7:00PM at New York State Department of Environmental Protection’s Marine Bureau Headquarters, 205 N. Belle Mead Road, East Setauket, New York. Any additional hearings will be posted to the Commission’s website at http://www.asmfc.org/meetings.htm.
Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum, either by attending public hearings or providing written comments. The Draft Addendum can be obtained at http://www.asmfc.org/speciesDocuments/sfScupBSB/bsb/fmps/bsb_DraftAddendumXXII_PublicComment.pdf or by contacting the Commission at 703. 842.0740. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on February 5, 2012 and should be forwarded to Toni Kerns, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at [email protected] (Subject line: Black Sea Bass). For more information, please contact Toni Kerns at 703.842.0740 or [email protected].