Written Comments due October 12, 2018
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) are soliciting public input on a draft amendment to address several potential changes to the management of the commercial summer flounder fishery, as well as modifications to the fishery management plan (FMP) goals and objectives for summer flounder. The deadline to submit written comments is October 12, 2018. Comments may be submitted online here or by email, mail, or fax (scroll down for addresses).
The specific issues under consideration in this amendment include:
Requalifying criteria for federal commercial moratorium permits to address latent effort in the fishery: The amendment includes options to reduce the number of eligible commercial federal moratorium permits by implementing requalifying criteria for existing permits.
Modifying commercial quota allocation: The amendment proposes several options for revising the current commercial allocation to the states, which has been in place since 1993 and is based on average landings from 1980-1989.
Adding commercial landings flexibility as a framework issue in the Council's FMP: This action does not consider implementing landings flexibility policies at this time but considers allowing the Council to implement landings flexibility through a future framework action instead of an amendment. The Commission’s adaptive management process already allows for landings flexibility.
Revising the FMP objectives for summer flounder: This amendment proposes revisions to the current FMP objectives for summer flounder management to provide more meaningful and up-to-date guidance to managers.
Additional information about the amendment and the management alternatives being considered can be found on the Council’s website at www.mafmc.org/actions/summer-flounder-amendment and on the Commission’s website at http://www.asmfc.org/about-us/public-input. This information includes three documents: (1) the Public Hearing Document, which includes all proposed management changes and was developed to solicit public comment; (2) the Commission’s Draft Amendment; and (3) the Council’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Both the Commission’s Draft Amendment and the Council’s DEIS are required under their respective regulatory processes.
Kiley Dancy, Fishery Management Specialist, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, firstname.lastname@example.org, 302.526.5257
Kirby Rootes-Murdy, Senior FMP Coordinator, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, email@example.com, 703.842.0740
Given the joint nature of this management effort and to streamline the public comment process, comments should be directed to Council contact information below. You may submit written comments by 11:59 PM, Eastern Time, on Friday, October 12, 2018. Written comments may be sent by any of the following methods:
MAIL OR FAX TO:
Chris Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council
800 North State Street, Suite 201
Dover, DE 19901
Please include “Summer Flounder Commercial Issues Amendment Comments” in the subject line if using email or on the outside of the envelope if submitting written comments by mail. All comments, regardless of submission method, will be compiled into a single document for review and consideration by both the Council and Commission. Please do not send separate comments to the Council and Commission.