Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Draft Addendum VI to the Tautog FMP

Atlantic coastal states from Massachusetts through Virginia have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addendum VI to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Tautog.

Dates, times, and locations of the scheduled meetings follow:

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
February 10, 2011; 6:00 PM
Fall River Heritage State Park,
Visitors Center Auditorium
200 Davol Street
Fall River, Massachusetts
Contact: Nichola Meserve at (617) 626-1531

Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife
February 15, 2011; 5:00 PM
URI, Graduate School of Oceanography
Coastal Institute Auditorium
215 South Ferry Road
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Contact: Jason McNamee at (401) 423-1943

Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection
February 8, 2011; 7:00 PM
Marine Headquarters Boating Education Center
333 Ferry Road
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Contact: David Simpson at (860) 434-6043

New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation
February 22, 2011; 7:00 PM
Marine Resources Headquarters
205 North Belle Mead Rd, Suite 1
East Setauket, New York
Contact: Steve Heins at (631) 444-0436

New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
February 15, 2011; 7:00 PM
Ocean County Administrative Building
Public Hearing Room 119
101 Hooper Avenue
Toms River, New Jersey
Contact: Pete Himchak at (609) 748-2020

Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
February 8, 2011; 6:00 PM
Shoreline and Waterway Management Section
Lewes Field Facility
901 Pilottown Road
Lewes, Delaware
Contact: Cynthia Cleaver at (302) 645-1061

Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources
February 9, 2011; 5:00 PM
Ocean Pines Library
11107 Cathell Road
Ocean Pines, Maryland
Contact: Carrie Kennedy at (410) 260-8295

Virginia Marine Resources Commission
February 15, 2011; 6:00 PM
2600 Washington Avenue, 4th Floor
Newport News, Virginia
Contact: Jack Travelstead at (757) 247-2247

The Draft Addendum proposes two changes to the tautog management program: (1) address the illegal trade of live tautog and, (2) prevent increases in fishing mortality (F) prior to the completion of the next assessment.

The Draft Addendum was initiated in response to concern regarding the condition of the tautog stock and possible increased pressure on the stock due to illegal fishing activities and continued overfishing. Over the past couple of years, the Board has received reports from its Advisory Panel, Technical Committee, and the fishing public expressing concern about the illegal trade of live tautog and increased poaching. Options to address illegal live harvest include prohibiting recreational anglers from possessing live tautog and requiring recreational anglers to mark any live tautog. 

Given that coastwide F continues to exceed the target established in Addendum IV, the Draft Addendum also proposes measures to prevent increases in F prior to the completion of the next assessment (spring/summer 2011).  Specific options include requiring states to implement additional restrictions to meet the F target, a reduction of the F target, a requirement that state regulations prohibit possession in excess of existing bag/possession limits, and recommendations for tautog management in federal waters. The Draft Addendum also contains several other management issues for public comment that may be developed and considered in a future addendum.

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 via the Commission’s website at www.asmfc.org under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at (703) 842-0740. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on March 4, 2011 and should be forwarded to Chris Vonderweidt, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; (703) 842-0741 (FAX) or at cvonderweidt@asmfc.org (Subject line: Tautog Addendum VI). For more information, please contact Chris Vonderweidt at (703) 842-0740 or cvonderweidt@asmfc.org

source: ASFMC

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