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Public Comment Period Open for Spiny Dogfish
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

SPINY DOGFISH
Public Comment Period Ends: May 18, 2015
Scheduled Effective: June 22, 2015


Purpose of the Changes:
The purpose of this action is to require that fins remain attached naturally to spiny dogfish through landing.

Spiny dogfish are a highly migratory species of shark found in both federal and state waters. State waters extend from 0-3 miles offshore of the United States, while federal waters are 3-200 miles offshore. State and federal waters are managed through different processes.

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is responsible for implementing management in federal waters. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) is responsible for management of spiny dogfish in state waters (0-3 miles offshore). The Commission is a collaborative entity of the Atlantic coast states from Maine to Florida and is governed by the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (ACFCMA). Maryland is included in the Commission fishery management plan and must comply with certain provisions contained in that plan. Spiny dogfish are currently managed under the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Spiny Dogfish (2002) and Addenda I-V.

In 2010, Congress passed the Shark Conservation Act, which addressed the practice of removing fins from sharks, including spiny dogfish, at sea. NOAA Fisheries has recently adopted a final rule implementing these changes. In order to maintain consistency in rules for federal and state waters, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved Addendum V to the Spiny Dogfish Fisheries Management Plan adopting the ban on removing fins at sea. Before this addendum was approved, some states, including Maryland, allowed removal of the fin at sea up to 5 percent, by weight, of the catch. The proposed action allows for removing the head and gutting spiny dogfish at sea, but fins, including the tail, will be required to remain naturally attached through landing.

Changes were discussed with the Spiny Dogfish Workgroup and the Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission. Both groups support the action. Maryland fishermen that harvest spiny dogfish do not remove the fins until they are on land; therefore, this action does not have an impact on Maryland fishermen.


Feedback is due by COB, May 18, 2015. If you would like to submit written comment, please email: fisheriespubliccomment.dnr@maryland.gov


ADVISORY COMMISSIONS
Public Comment Period Ends: May 18, 2015
Scheduled Effective: June 22, 2015
Click here to view the proposal

Purpose of the Changes:
The purpose of this action is to update the regulations for the Tidal and Sport Fisheries Advisory Commissions. The regulations were adopted in 1993 and refer to "Tidewater Administration" rather than "Fisheries Service". After comparing statutes related to commissions (Natural Resources Article, §§1-102, 1-105 and 4-204, Annotated Code of Maryland) and the current regulations, it was determined that the regulations are in line with current practice and no other changes are necessary. The proposed action changes the references of Tidewater Administration to Fisheries Service. The proposed action was discussed with both Commissions at the January 2015 meetings.

Feedback is due by COB, May 18, 2015. If you would like to submit written comment, please email: fisheriespubliccomment.dnr@maryland.gov


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