Public Hearings on Menhaden Draft Addendum IV

The States of Maine and Maryland, and the Commonwealth of Virginia have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addendum IV to Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden. The dates, times, and locations of the scheduled meetings follow. Please note that some states will also be conducting hearings on other ASMFC proposed species management actions.

Maine Department of Marine Resources
October 5, 2009; 6 PM
Freeport Community Library
10 Library Drive
Freeport, Maine
Contact: Terry Stockwell at (207) 624-6553
* Public comment will also be gathered on Shad Draft Amendment 3 and Striped Bass Draft Addendum II

Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources
October 6, 2009; 5:30 – 9:00 PM
Tawes State Office Building, C1 Conference Room
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland
Contact: Alexei Sharov 410-260-8288
* Public comment will also be gathered on Shad Draft Amendment 3 and Striped Bass Draft Addendum II

Virginia Marine Resources Commission
September 29, 2009; 6 PM
2600 Washington Avenue, 4th Floor
Newport News, Virginia.
Contact: Jack Travelstead at (757) 247-2247

Draft Addendum IV proposes extending the Chesapeake Bay reduction fishery harvest cap, established through Addendum III, for an additional three years (2011 – 2013). Under the proposed Addendum, the Board would annually review measures to determine if they are appropriate given the most recent information available about the stock and fishery.

The Board’s action was requested by the Commonwealth of Virginia in order to accommodate its legislative process as well as ensure that the current management program is extended while menhaden research efforts continue. Virginia’s legislature, which meets January through March each year, is responsible for regulating the menhaden reduction fishery in state waters. With a new Addendum in place this year, Virginia state administrators can work with the legislature in early 2010 to amend Virginia law to extend the harvest cap without the current cap expiring.

Addendum III established the current annual cap of 109,020 metric tons on reduction fishery harvests in Chesapeake Bay as a precautionary measure while research was conducted to address the question of menhaden abundance in the Bay. The cap has been in place since 2006 and will extend through 2010. Harvest for reduction purposes is prohibited in the Chesapeake Bay when 100 percent of the cap is landed. Over-harvest in any given year would be deducted from the next year’s quota. Addendum III also includes a provision allowing under-harvest in one year to be credited only to the following year’s cap, not to exceed 122,740 metric tons. Since Addendum III was implemented, reduction landings of menhaden from Chesapeake Bay has not exceeded the cap.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on Draft Addendum IV, by attending public hearings or providing written comments. Copies of Draft Addendum IV can be obtained by contacting the Commission at (202) 289-6400 or via the Commission’s website at under Breaking News. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM EST on October 9, 2009 and should be forwarded to Braddock Spear, Senior FMP Coordinator for Policy, 1444 ‘Eye’ Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 289-6051 (FAX) or at (Subject line: Draft Addendum IV).

source: ASMFC press release