States Schedule Hearings on Atlantic Herring Draft Addendum III

Arlington, VA - The Atlantic coastal states of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts have scheduled their hearings to gather public input on Draft Addendum III. The details of those hearings and the public hearing webinar follow:

Maine Department of Marine Resources March 9, 2020 at 6 PM ME DMR Augusta Office 32 Blossom Lane, Room 118 Augusta, Maine Contact: Megan Ware at 207.624.6563

New Hampshire Fish and Game March 3, 2020 at 6 PM Urban Forestry Center 45 Elwyn Road Portsmouth, New Hampshire Contact: Cheri Patterson at 603.868.1095

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries March 2, 2020 at 6 PM MA DMF Gloucester Office Annisquam River Station 30 Emerson Avenue Gloucester, Massachusetts Contact: Melanie Griffin at 617.626.1528

Webinar Hearing March 12, 2020 at 5:30 PM Webinar link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2774987433446335756 Conference Call # 1.888.585.9008 (enter passcode: 853-657-937 when prompted) Contact: Kirby Rootes-Murdy at 703.842.0740

The Draft Addendum proposes options to better manage the Area 1A (inshore Gulf of Maine) sub-annual catch limit (ACL) under low quota scenarios. 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.

Currently, the 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. Due to the low quota, the 2019 fishery experienced frequent closures to avoid an overage. The 2020 sub-ACL (3,344 mt) is lower than in 2019, creating further challenges in distributing the quota throughout the fishing season. The Draft Addendum considers additional tools to provide the Board more flexibility in specifying the allocation under low quota scenarios and meet 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 will be available at http://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/AtlHerringDraftAddIII_PublicComment.pdf. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM on March 25, 2020 and should be forward to Kirby Rootes-Murdy, Senior FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, Virginia 22201; 703.842.0741 (fax) or at comments@asmfc.org (Subject line: Atlantic Herring Draft Addendum III). For more information, please contact Kirby Rootes-Murdy at krootes-murdy@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.

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PR20-07

A PDF of the press release can be found here - http://www.asmfc.org/uploads/file/5e4300f4pr07AtlHerringDraftAddendum_PublicHearings.pdf

Tina Berger Director of Communications Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 1050 N. Highland Street, Suite 200A-N Arlington, VA 22201 703.842.0740 tberger@asmfc.org www.asmfc.org

Sustainable and Cooperative Management of Atlantic Coastal Fisheries