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New Hampshire Hearing on ASMFC Northern Shrimp Draft Amendment 3

Doug Grout, NHFG: (603) 868-1095
Tina Berger, ASMFC: (703) 842-0740

May 19, 2017

DURHAM, NH -- Three northern New England states have scheduled public hearings on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section’s Draft Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Northern Shrimp. The hearings are an opportunity for public consideration and input.


New Hampshire’s hearing will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, NH.  For more information, contact NH Fish and Game Marine Fisheries Chief Doug Grout at (603) 868-1095.


The Section initiated Draft Amendment 3 with the intention of considering a limited entry program to address overcapacity in the fishery. In the 2010 and 2011 fishing seasons, increased fishing effort and untimely reporting resulted in early season closures and an overharvest of the total allowable catch (TAC). The 2012 fishing season was further restricted, resulting in a 21-day trawl season and a 17-day trap season. In the 2013 fishing season, despite the fact that only 55% of the TAC was harvested, the fishing mortality rate (0.53) was estimated above the target (0.38). In December 2013, the Section established a moratorium for the 2014 fishing season due to recruitment failure and a collapsed stock. The moratorium was maintained each year, through 2017, in response to the continued depleted condition of the stock.


Due to the uncertainty about if and when the resource would rebuild and the fishery reopen, the Section shifted the focus of Draft Amendment 3 to consider measures to improve management of the northern shrimp fishery and resource. Proposed options in the Draft Amendment include state-by-state allocations and accountability measures to better manage effort in the fishery. The Draft Amendment also explores the mandatory use of size sorting grate systems to minimize harvest of small (presumably male) shrimp, as well as reporting measures to ensure all harvested shrimp are being reported.


Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Amendment either by attending public hearings or providing written comments. The Draft Amendment can be obtained at or via the Commission’s website,, under Public Input. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on June 21, 2017, and should be forwarded to Max Appelman, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at (Subject line: Northern Shrimp). For more information, please contact Max Appelman at or (703) 842-0740.


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