Cheri Patterson, NHFG: 603-868-1095
Kirby Rootes-Murdy, ASMFC: 703-842-0740
February 13, 2020
DURHAM, NH – The states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts have scheduled hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addendum III to Amendment 2 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for the Atlantic Herring.
New Hampshire’s meeting will take place on March 3, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road in Portsmouth, NH. For more information on the New Hampshire meeting, contact the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Acting Marine Division Chief Cheri Patterson at 603-868-1095.
Draft Addendum III proposes options to better manage the Area 1A (inshore Gulf of Maine) sub-annual catch limit (ACL) under low quota scenarios for the Atlantic herring fishery. This action responds to the challenges encountered in managing the reduced sub-ACL based on the 2018 benchmark stock assessment, which highlighted declining trends in recruitment and spawning stock biomass.
Due to the low quota, the 2019 fishery experienced frequent closures to avoid an overage. The sub-ACL for 2020 (3,344 metric tons) is lower than for 2019, creating further challenges in distributing the quota throughout the fishing season. Currently, the Atlantic Herring Management Board can allocate the sub-ACL throughout the fishing season using bi-monthly, trimester, or seasonal quota periods to meet the needs of the fishery. For the 2019 fishing season, the Board implemented a bimonthly quota period approach to maximize use of the reduced sub-ACL when demand for bait is high.
The Draft Addendum considers additional tools to provide the Board more flexibility in specifying the allocation under low quota scenarios and for meeting the needs of the herring fishery moving forward. Additionally, the Draft Addendum considers expanding landing provisions across different permit categories within the days out program. The Board utilizes days out of the fishery and weekly landing limits to adjust the rate of Area 1A catch. The Draft Addendum includes options that apply weekly landing limits to all vessel categories landing herring in Area 1A throughout the entire fishing season.
Interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. The Draft Addendum is available at http://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/AtlHerringDraftAddIII_PublicComment.pdf.
Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on March 25, 2020 and should be forwarded to Kirby Rootes-Murdy, Senior FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, Virginia 22201. Comments may also be faxed to 703-842-0741 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line: Atlantic Herring Draft Addendum III. For more information, contact Kirby Rootes-Murdy at email@example.com or 703-842-0740.