Alexandria, VA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Spiny Dogfish Board approved Draft Addendum V to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Spiny Dogfish for public comment. The Draft Addendum proposes requiring fins remain naturally attached to spiny dogfish through landing in order to ensure consistency with the Shark Conservation Act of 2010. The Act was signed into law to close loopholes in the U.S. shark finning regulations. Specifically, the Act prohibits the removal of any fins of the shark (including the tail) while at sea (with an exemption for smooth dogfish). Fins must remain naturally attached to the corresponding carcass through landing of the fish (including while aboard a fishing vessel or transferred at sea from one vessel to another).
Currently, the Interstate FMP allows removal of the fins of spiny dogfish at-sea as long as the corresponding carcass is retained. The wet weight of fins on-board may not exceed 5% of the dressed weight of carcasses on-board (a 5-to-95 fin-to-carcass ratio). Maine, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida already require fins to remain naturally attached to the fish through landing. The Board will review and consider final approval of the Draft Addendum at the Commission’s Annual Meeting in October 2014.
The Board also approved increasing the commercial possession limit from 4,000 to 5,000 pounds for the northern region (Maine to Connecticut) for the 2014/2015 spiny dogfish fishing season. This action will be effective beginning September 8, 2014 and is consistent with recently adopted measures for federal waters.
It is anticipated that several states will be conducting public hearings on the Draft Addendum; information on those hearings will be released when it is finalized. Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. The Draft Addendum will be available on the Commission website (wwww.asmfc.org) under Public Input by August 18, 2014. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on September 30, 2014 and should be forwarded to Marin Hawk, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Spiny Dogfish Draft Addendum V). For more information, please contact Marin Hawk, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at email@example.com.