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CONTACT:
Doug Grout: 603-868-1095
Tina Berger: 703-842-0740
March 19, 2012

New Hampshire Hearing April 3, 2012, on Atlantic Menhaden Amendment 2 Public Information Document

DURHAM, N.H. – Atlantic coastal states from Maine through Georgia have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on the Public Information Document (PID) for Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.  

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will host the New Hampshire meeting in this series on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at 7 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road in Portsmouth, N.H. For more information on the New Hampshire hearing, contact N.H. Fish and Game Marine Fisheries Chief Doug Grout at 603-868-1095.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input by either attending public hearings or providing written comments. The public comment deadline is 5:00 PM (EST) on April 20, 2012; send written comments to Mike 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: Menhaden PID).

Copies of the PID are available at www.asmfc.org/speciesDocuments/menhaden/fmps/Amend2PID_DraftForPublicComment.pdf or by contacting the Commission at 703-842-0740.
     
Background: The Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission's Atlantic Menhaden Management Board approved the Public Information Document (PID) for Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden for public comment and review.  As the first step in the development of Amendment 2, the PID presents the current status of the fishery and resource, and solicits public input on which major issues and alternatives should be included for consideration and analysis in Draft Amendment 2.

The PID's primary focus is to initiate discussion on the timing and implementation of achieving the new fishing mortality threshold (F = 1.32) and target (F = 0.62) reference points recently adopted through Addendum V.  Since fishing mortality in 2008 (the latest year in the assessment) is estimated at 2.28, overfishing is occurring, however, the stock is not overfished. The goal of the new reference points is to increase abundance, spawning stock biomass, and menhaden availability as a forage species. The PID also seeks public input on a more timely and comprehensive catch reporting system, and scopes potential options to be used in managing Atlantic menhaden commercial bait and reduction fisheries as well as recreational fishery.

Alongside the development of Amendment 2, the peer-reviewed stock assessment will be updated with data through 2011 to provide a more recent estimate of fishing mortality. Results of the assessment update will be used to estimate the harvest reductions needed to achieve the new threshold and target fishing mortality rates.  Therefore, preliminary harvest reductions are provided in the PID, but will likely change based on the results of the stock assessment update.

Directions to the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, N.H:  From I-95, Take exit 5 into Portsmouth Traffic Circle, then take Route 1 Bypass to Route 1 (Lafayette Road). Continue 2.5 miles through a series of 5 traffic lights; at the next stoplight; turn left onto Elwyn Road. Take the first left (about 500 feet) into the Urban Forestry Center. From Route 4, travel east, across the General Sullivan Bridge, and take the Spaulding Turnpike south, past Pease International Tradeport; bear left into the Portsmouth Traffic Circle. Follow directions from Circle.

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