ASMFC South Atlantic Board Releases Spanish Mackerel, Spot, and Spotted Seatrout PID for Public Comment and Review

The Commission’s South Atlantic State-Federal Fisheries Management Board has approved the Public Information Document (PID) for an Omnibus Amendment to the Interstate Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) for Spanish Mackerel, Spot, and Spotted Seatrout for public review and comment. As the first step in the development of an amendment, the PID presents a broad overview of the issues facing these three species. It provides the public with the opportunity to tell the Commission about changes observed in the fisheries; actions that should or should not be taken in terms of management, regulation, enforcement, and research; and any other concerns about the resources or the fisheries. The PID can be obtained via the Commission’s website at under Breaking News. Several coastal states will be conducting public meetings on the PID; information on those meetings will be released once they become finalized.

The PID and subsequent amendment are being developed to update the three species management plans to include compliance measures and other Commission standards since all three plans are voluntary in nature and lack standards that were developed in response to the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (e.g., adaptive management, de minimis criteria). In the case of Spanish mackerel, the PID will also address modifying the Commission’s management program so that it is consistent with federal management in the exclusive economic zone (because the plan is intended to track federal Spanish mackerel measures).

Following the initial phase of information gathering and public comment, the Commission will evaluate potential management alternatives and develop a Draft Omnibus Amendment for public review. Following the second public comment period, the Commission will specify management measures to be included in the final amendment. A tentative schedule for completion of the Omnibus Amendment is included in the PID.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the PID, by either attending public hearings or providing written comments. Copies of the PID 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 January 15, 2010 and should be forwarded to Nichola Meserve, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1444 ‘Eye’ Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 289-6051 (FAX) or at (Subject line: Omnibus Amendment). For more information, please contact Nichola Meserve at (202) 289-6400.

source: ASMFC press release