The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden Management Board approved Addendum I to Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden. The Addendum modifies the bycatch provision of Amendment 2 by allowing two permitted commercial fishermen working together from the same vessel using stationary multi-species gear to land up to 12,000 pounds of menhaden per trip per day. In this case, stationary multi-species gears are defined as pound nets, anchored/staked gillnets, and fyke nets. Interested states may implement the new bycatch provision as their regulatory processes allow, but no earlier than August 15.
The practice of two permitted fishermen working together from the same vessel to harvest Atlantic menhaden primarily occurs in the Chesapeake Bay pound net fishery. This practice enables the fishermen to pool resources for fuel and crew. However, the practice was constrained under Amendment 2’s bycatch allowance provision, which stipulated a 6,000 pound/vessel/day limit.
Board members also discussed 2017 specifications but postponed final action on these measures until the Commission’s Annual Meeting in late October. Addendum I will be available of the Commission website, www.asmfc.org, on the Atlantic Menhaden page by mid-August. For more information, please contact Megan Ware, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at email@example.com or 703.842.0740.