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CONTACT:
Doug Grout, NHF&G: 603-868-1095
Tina Berger, ASMFC: 703-842-0740
June 12, 2014

Public Hearings Set for Draft Amendments for Atlantic Herring, American Eel Atlantic herring

DURHAM, N.H. – New Hampshire will host two public hearings the evening of June 23, 2014, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road in Portsmouth, N.H. The hearings are part of a series of Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) meetings to get public input on proposed changes to the fisheries management plans for Atlantic herring and American eel. For more information, contact N.H. Fish and Game Department Marine Fisheries Chief Doug Grout at 603-868-1095.

At 7 p.m., the ASMFC's Atlantic Herring Section will seek comments on the Public Information Document (PID) for Draft Amendment 3 to the Interstate Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The PID presents four issues the Commission is seeking public input on to inform the development of management measures for the Atlantic herring fishery: (1) spawning area boundaries and closures in Area 1A, (2) a fixed gear set-aside rollover provision, (3) declaration of fishing gear prior to the beginning of a quota period in order to provide fishery managers a more accurate estimate of effort to inform harvest control measures, and (4) requirement for a vessel's hold to be emptied of fish before a fishing trip departure in order to allow for full accounting of catch and to discourage dumping of unsold fish.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Atlantic herring measures either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. The PID is available at asmfc.org/files/AtlHerring/AtlHerringPID_Am3_2014.pdf or contact the Commission at 703-842-0740. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on July 10, 2014, and should be forwarded to Melissa Yuen, FMP Coordinator, at 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703-842-0741 (FAX) (Subject line: Atlantic Herring PID).

American EelAt 7:30 p.m., public comment will be solicited on Draft Addendum IV to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Eel. The Draft Addendum proposes a wide range of management options, with the goal of reducing mortality and increasing the conservation of American eel stocks across all life stages. Specific management options focus on the commercial (glass, yellow, and silver eel life stages) American eel fisheries. Draft Addendum IV is the second management document to respond to the findings of the 2012 benchmark stock assessment indicating the American eel population in U.S. waters is depleted.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the eel Draft Addendum IV by either attending public hearings or providing written comments. The Draft Addendum is available at asmfc.org (under Public Input) or call 703-.842-.0740.  

The public comment deadline on the eel Draft Addendum is 11:59 PM (EST) on July 17, 2014. Comments should be submitted to Kate Taylor, Senior Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at comments@asmfc.org (Subject line: American Eel). Final action on the Addendum is scheduled to occur in August. For more information, contact Kate Taylor at ktaylor@asmfc.org or 703-842-0740.

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