The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish & Wildlife will host an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden at 6 p.m. Sept. 14 in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover.
Draft Amendment 3 seeks to manage the resource in a way that balances the menhaden’s ecological role as a prey species with the needs of all user groups. The amendment considers the use of ecosystem reference points to manage the resource and presents management options for the commercial menhaden fishery.
ASMFC’s 2015 Benchmark Stock Assessment Report identified the development of ERPs as a high priority for Atlantic menhaden management. Menhaden play a role in the marine ecosystem as prey for a variety of species including larger fish, birds and marine mammals. As a result, changes in the abundance of menhaden may impact predator populations, particularly if availability of other prey is limited. ERPs provide a method to assess the status of menhaden within the broad ecosystem context.
To review the draft amendment on the ASMFC website, visit bit.ly/2gGHD1s. Anglers and other interested parties are encouraged to provide input on the draft amendment by attending the state public hearing or providing written comment.
Written public comment will be accepted until 5 p.m. Oct. 20 and may be mailed to Megan Ware, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, Virginia 22201; faxed to 703-842-0741 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, Draft Amendment 3.
Final action on the amendment, as well as setting the 2018 total allowable catch limit, is scheduled for Nov. 14 at the BWI Airport Marriott, 1743 West Nursery Road, Linthicum, Maryland. For more, contact email@example.com or 703-842-0740.
For more about the Dover hearing, call 739-9914.