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CONTACT:
      Doug Grout: 603-868-1095
      Tina Berger: 703-842-0740
      August 24, 2011

New Hampshire Hearing Sepember 14, 2011, on Northern Shrimp Draft Amendment 2

Public Comment Accepted Until October 3, 2011

DURHAM, N.H. – Hearings have been scheduled in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts to gather public comment on the Draft Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Northern Shrimp.  New Hampshire Fish and Game will host a hearing on September 14, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, N.H.  The contact for more information on the hearing is New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Marine Fisheries Chief Doug Grout (603-868-1095).

The Draft Amendment proposes a suite of management options that may be used to provide greater flexibility in managing the northern shrimp fishery and maximizing its overall benefits. These include clarification of fishing mortality reference points, timely and comprehensive reporting system, trip limits, trap limits, days out, area management, seasonal quotas, and harvest set-asides.
 
Since the adoption of Amendment 1 in 2004, knowledge of the northern shrimp biology, population dynamics, and fishery has improved. While the management of northern shrimp has resulted in a rebuilt stock and increased fishing opportunity, Amendment 1 only provides two options for managing the fishery – season length and gear limitations. Early season closures occurred in the 2010 and 2011 fishing seasons because landing rates were far greater than anticipated. Furthermore, untimely reporting resulted in short notice of the season closures and an over-harvest of the target total allowable catch by 14% in 2010 and 48% in 2011. The measures proposed in Draft Amendment 2 are intended to address these issues.

Upon completion of Amendment 2, the Section will initiate consideration of a limited entry program through the adaptive management addendum process. The Public Information Document for this Amendment initially notified the public of the Section's intent to consider development of a limited entry program. Based on public comment received on the Public Information Document and the Section’s concern regarding continuing effort increases in this fishery, the Section established a control date of June 7, 2011. The intention of the control date is to notify potential new entrants to the fishery that there is a strong possibility they will be treated differently from participants in the fishery prior to the control date. The Section may also use historic landings and/or participation criteria for current and past participants as the limited entry system is established.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Amendment by either attending public hearings or providing written comments. Copies of the Draft Amendment can be obtained via the Commission’s website (www.asmfc.org) under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at 703-842-0740.   The public comment deadline has been extended to 5:00 PM (EST) on October 3, 2011, and comments should be forwarded to Michael Waine, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703-842-0741 (FAX) or at mwaine@asmfc.org (Subject line: Northern Shrimp Amendment 2).  

Directions to the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, N.H.:  From Portsmouth Traffic Circle: Take the Route 1 Bypass South exit off circle. Merge with Route 1 and go through five traffic lights. Turn left at sixth light onto Elwyn Road.                         

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