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CONTACT:
Doug Grout: 603-868-1095
Tina Berger, ASMSC: 703-842-0740
January 27, 2012

ASMFC Northern Shrimp Section Revises 2012 TAC and Sets Next Meeting for Feb. 2, 2012

DURHAM, N.H. -- To help address northern shrimp harvester and processor concerns about their ability to maintain markets that have been established over the past few seasons, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Northern Shrimp Section has revised the total allowable catch (TAC) for the 2012 northern shrimp fishery to 2,211 metric tons, an increase of 211 metric tons from the original 2012 TAC.

The Section maintained all other fishery specifications for the 2012 season, including the Monday/Wednesday/Friday landing days and closure of the fishery when landings are projected to reach 95% of the TAC (2,100 metric tons).

"The Section took this action to partially offset the economic impacts of the reduced season to northern shrimp harvesters and processors," said Section Chair Terry Stockwell of Maine.  "However, it also cautioned industry that it remains concerned about the projected status of the resource, with below-average strength of upcoming year classes, and the potential for restricted seasons in the near future."
 
While the new TAC is in excess of the Technical Committee-recommended TAC of 1,834 metric tons, it is not expected to result in the fishing mortality threshold being exceeded, which would equate with overfishing of the stock.

The Northern Shrimp Section will meet again at 3:30 p.m. on February 2, 2012, at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel, 250 Market Street, Portsmouth, N.H., to monitor the rate of landings and determine whether any further changes to the season specifications are warranted.  The meeting will also serve as the official public hearing for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department regarding these changes.

At its recent meeting, the Section also initiated development of an addendum to consider possible changes to the management program's biological reference points and rebuilding schedule, as well as to explore issues related to management by area, harvest set-asides, limited entry, and catch controls (quotas). The draft addendum will be developed over the next few months.

For more information, please contact Mike Waine, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at 703-842-0740 or mwaine@asmfc.org, or call N.H. Fish and Game Department Marine Division Chief Douglas Grout at 603-868-1095.      

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