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TINA BERGER: 703.842.0740
OCTOBER 19, 2012

ASMFC Northern Shrimp Section to Meet November 9, 2012, in Portland, Maine

Technical Committee to Meet October 31, 2012 to Update 2012 Stock Assessment

Arlington, VA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section will meet on November 9, 2012, in Portland, Maine, to consider final approval of Addendum I to Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Northern Shrimp. The Advisory Panel will meet prior to the Section (9:00 AM to Noon) to formulate its recommendations on Draft Addendum I. The Section will then meet from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM to review submitted public comment, Advisory Panel recommendations and take final action on the Addendum I. These meetings will take place at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring Street, Portland, Maine; 800.345.5070.

The Draft Addendum seeks to provide flexibility and transparency in the annual specification process with the goal of maximizing benefits to the fishery while ensuring stock rebuilding. It presents options to set a hard total allowable catch (TAC), allocate the TAC by gear type and/or state (including a transferability provision), and close the fishery when a percentage of the TAC is projected to be reached in order to account for late reporting.  The Draft Addendum also presents options to implement gear modifications to minimize the retention of small shrimp, establish set aside harvest for research, and require the payback of quota overages from one year to the next.

The Draft Addendum responds to recent trends in the fishery and the resource that jeopardize the stability of the northern shrimp resource. For the last three fishing seasons, late and incomplete reporting and continued fluctuations in participation have led to overharvest of the TAC.  These overages coupled with a decline in stock abundance resulted in an overfished and overfishing stock status.  The Draft Addendum proposes refinements to the annual specification process to better control annual harvest and minimize risks to the resource as it rebuilds.

The Northern Shrimp Technical Committee will meet to update the 2012 northern shrimp stock assessment on October 31, 2012, from 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM at the NH Fish and Game Office, 225 Main Street, Durham, New Hampshire.  The Section and Advisory Panel will meet again in late November or early December to review the stock assessment and establish its specifications for the 2012/2013 fishery; the details of this meeting will be announced when they become available. For more information, please contact Mike Waine, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at mwaine@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.

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