Fayetteville Anglers' Network Forum
Top posting users this month

AnglingNC Twitter Feed

   



ASMFC Approves Public Information Document - Menhaden

View previous topic View next topic Go down

ASMFC Approves Public Information Document - Menhaden

Post  fishgent on Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:19 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS CONTACT: Tina Berger
February 9, 2012 703.842.0740
ASMFC Atlantic Menhaden Board Approves the Public
Information Document for Draft Amendment 2
States to Conduct Public Hearings in March & April
Alexandria, VA – The Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden Management Board approved the Public
Information Document (PID) for Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic
Menhaden for public comment and review. As the first step in the development of Amendment 2, the PID
presents the current status of the fishery and resource, and solicits public input on which major issues and
alternatives should be included for consideration and analysis in Draft Amendment 2.
The PID’s primary focus is to initiate discussion on the timing and implementation of achieving the new
fishing mortality threshold (F = 1.32) and target (F = 0.62) reference points recently adopted through
Addendum V. Since fishing mortality in 2008 (the latest year in the assessment) is estimated at 2.28,
overfishing is occurring, however, the stock is not overfished. The goal of the new reference points is to
increase abundance, spawning stock biomass, and menhaden availability as a forage species. The PID also
seeks public input on a more timely and comprehensive catch reporting system, and scopes potential options
to be used in managing Atlantic menhaden commercial bait and reduction fisheries as well as recreational
fishery.
Alongside the development of Amendment 2, the peer-reviewed stock assessment will be updated with
data through 2011 to provide a more recent estimate of fishing mortality. Results of the assessment update
will be used to estimate the harvest reductions needed to achieve the new threshold and target fishing
mortality rates. Therefore, preliminary harvest reductions are provided in the PID but will likely change
based on the results of the stock assessment update.
Staff will be finalizing the draft over the next week based on the Board’s input yesterday; a subsequent
press release will announce the document’s availability as well as the state public hearing schedule. The
Board will meet in May at the Commission’s Spring Meeting to review submitted comment and identify
the measures to be included in the Draft Amendment. The Board will meet again in August to review and
incorporate the results of the 2012 stock assessment update and consider approving the Draft Amendment
for public comment. Final amendment approval is anticipated for October, with plan implementation
scheduled for 2013. For more information, please contact Michael Waine, Fishery Management Plan
Coordinator, at 703.842.0740 or mwaine@asmfc.org. PR12-07
avatar
fishgent
Deckhand

Join date : 2010-08-24
Age : 51
Location : Pinehurst/Southern Pines

Back to top Go down

Other news annoucements from the ASMFC

Post  fishgent on Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:23 pm

View the other news announcements from the ASMFC winter meeting at their website www.asmfc.org.
avatar
fishgent
Deckhand

Join date : 2010-08-24
Age : 51
Location : Pinehurst/Southern Pines

Back to top Go down

Re: ASMFC Approves Public Information Document - Menhaden

Post  Backlash on Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:12 pm

Maybe I don't understand completely what is happening here, but I find this absolutely laffable. "Overfishing is occurring, but the stock is not overfished.", even Dr. Louis Daniels of the NCDMF stated last week that the current stock is at 8% of what would be considered a healthly population. Based on this, I would say not only is it overfished, but endangered. Therefore all the species that rely on this species as a food source are also endangered. Above all else this has to stop..
avatar
Backlash
Admin

Join date : 2010-08-23
Location : Fayetteville, NC

http://fayettevilleanglers.com

Back to top Go down

Re: ASMFC Approves Public Information Document - Menhaden

Post  fishgent on Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:56 pm

Tom, you are absolutely correct. Dr. Daniels stated that the current spawning biomass is at 8 percent and the ASMFC has agreed to take actions to increase the level to 30% even though some experts stated that the level need to be 50% to provide their ecosystem function. One of the most frustrating components of this process is that it looks to be 2013 before percentage changes become regulation. It appears we are going to allow overfishing for another year. If the population has drastically declined since the last analysis, what will another year of overfishing do to a 8% spawning biomass?

On a different note, as I was looking back at notes, Dr. Daniels stated in his questioning on the game fish bill that his departments mission was to "... to protect and enhance the resource for all citizens." By not taking actions on the game fish bill his department is allowing a small group decide the faith of the fish affected by the gamefish bill. And that small group is shipping out of state most of those fish.
avatar
fishgent
Deckhand

Join date : 2010-08-24
Age : 51
Location : Pinehurst/Southern Pines

Back to top Go down

Re: ASMFC Approves Public Information Document - Menhaden

Post  fishgent on Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:19 am

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission was formed by the 15 Atlantic coastal states in 1942 for the promotion and
protection of coastal fishery resources. The Commission serves as a deliberative body of the Atlantic coastal states, coordinating
the conservation and management of nearshore fishery resources, including marine, shell and anadromous species.
1050 N. Highland St. – Suite 200A-N – Arlington, V.A. 22201
703.842.0740 (phone) 703.842.0741 (fax) www.asmfc.org
Working towards healthy, self-sustaining populations of all Atlantic coast fish species, or successful restoration
well in progress by the year 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS CONTACT: Tina Berger
February 17, 2012 703.842.0740
Atlantic Menhaden Public Information Document
Available for Public Comment
Arlington, VA – The Public Information Document (PID) for Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery
Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden is now available for public comment and review on the
Commission's website at
http://www.asmfc.org/speciesDocuments/menhaden/fmps/Amend2PID_DraftForPublicComment.pdf.
As the first step in the development of Amendment 2, the PID presents the current status of the fishery and
resource, and solicits public input on which major issues and alternatives should be included for
consideration and analysis in Draft Amendment 2.
The PID’s primary focus is to initiate discussion on the timing and implementation of achieving the new
fishing mortality threshold (F = 1.32) and target (F = 0.62) reference points recently adopted through
Addendum V. Since fishing mortality in 2008 (the latest year in the assessment) is estimated at 2.28,
overfishing is occurring, however, the stock is not overfished. The goal of the new reference points is to
increase abundance, spawning stock biomass, and menhaden availability as a forage species. The PID also
seeks public input on a more timely and comprehensive catch reporting system, and scopes potential options
to be used in managing Atlantic menhaden commercial bait and reduction fisheries as well as recreational
fishery.
Alongside the development of Amendment 2, the peer-reviewed stock assessment will be updated with data
through 2011 to provide a more recent estimate of fishing mortality. Results of the assessment update will
be used to estimate the harvest reductions needed to achieve the new threshold and target fishing mortality
rates. Therefore, preliminary harvest reductions are provided in the PID but will likely change based on the
results of the stock assessment update.
Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the PID either by attending
public hearings or providing written comments. Public comment must be received no later than 5:00 PM
(EST) on April 20, 2012 and should be forwarded to Michael Waine, Fishery Management Plan
Coordinator, at 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or
mwaine@asmfc.org (Subject line: PID). A subsequent press release will announce the state's public hearing
schedule. For more information, please contact Michael Waine at 703.842.0740.
PR12-12
Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission
NEW
avatar
fishgent
Deckhand

Join date : 2010-08-24
Age : 51
Location : Pinehurst/Southern Pines

Back to top Go down

Re: ASMFC Approves Public Information Document - Menhaden

Post  fishgent on Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:06 am

interesting read. be sure to read the next to last paragraph....

Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Lashes Out Against Public Input in Fisheries Management


February 28 2012 | Alison Fairbrother | Blog, Environment, Fisheries, Regulation, Stock Assessment



A high-ranking gubernatorial appointee in Virginia has accused a citizens advisory committee of inappropriate “lobbying” when it expressed support for measures to protect Atlantic menhaden, a forage fish vital to the Atlantic ocean ecosystem.

Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech objected to the recommendations of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Chesapeake Executive Council to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), the regulatory agency that manages marine species in state-controlled waters.

CAC wrote to the ASMFC to voice support for improved conservation measures for menhaden, which has suffered worrisome declines in recent years. Domenech characterized these recommendations as “extraordinary” and “inappropriate.”

CAC’s letter was logged during a public comment period prior to the ASMFC’s November 2011 meeting, at which the Commission voted to curtail the amount of menhaden that could be harvested by the commercial fishery. The CAC’s letter represented one of 92,000 comments sent to the ASMFC, the vast majority of which argued that more menhaden should remain in Atlantic and estuarine waters to provide forage for important predators like striped bass, bluefish, and marine mammals and birds.

But in a letter dated February 17th, 2012, Domenech complained to a regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency that CAC had engaged in an “inappropriate action,” when the group wrote to the ASMFC back in October.

“It is Virginia’s opinion that the CAC does not, or at least should not, have the independent authority as a body to lobby other organizations. Pursuant to its bylaws, the CAC’s external communications are intended to provide information, not advocacy,” he wrote.

CAC was created by the Chesapeake Executive Council to represent citizens and stakeholders of the Chesapeake Bay, and to provide assistance and advice to the Executive Council, which establishes the policy direction for the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its living resources.

CAC is comprised of 28 citizen volunteers who have been appointed by the Governors of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the Mayor of DC, and the board of directors for the Alliance for Chesapeake Bay. The bylaws of the CAC empower the group to “provide input on aspects of watershed restoration.”

So why would Secretary Domenech not want citizens to engage with the fisheries management process?

Domenech’s letter to the EPA charges that the “decision to comment to the ASMFC was reached with little deliberation and notice….”

To support his contention, Domenech encloses the text of an email sent by Christy Everett, CAC Executive Committee member, to other CAC members, stating that the Executive Committee was recommending that the group write a letter in support of conservation measures.

“The only effort at deliberation and consultation was to include three links in [her] email; two ‘for conservation measures,’ and one ‘against conservation’ measures,” Domenech argues. He also notes that because Everett is a staff member of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the Chesapeake Bay, “this creates the appearance the CAC was being used by a separate organization to advance the position of that organization.”

In her email, Ms. Everett noted that the full committee had not met on the issue. She attached relevant resources and requested that CAC members comment on the draft letter before it was submitted officially. And she included links to organizations that supported menhaden conservation, as well as an organization wanted to maintain the status quo with respect to menhaden fishery management.

“Normally when we write a letter, we discuss it in one of our quarterly meetings,” said Nikki Tinsely, CAC Chair and former Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency. “This issue did not come to our attention until after the quarterly meeting, so we emailed our membership to get input on the draft.” Tinsley said that at the subsequent quarterly meeting on November 17th 2011, the CAC talked about how they had handled the ASMFC letter. Members were unanimous in their support of the process, she said.

Margaret Enloe, a spokesperson for the Chesapeake Bay Program, which houses the Chesapeake Executive Council and CAC, said that the organization is reviewing Domenech’s letter. But she added that there was a precedent for CAC’s recommendations to fishery management agencies. In 2006, the group submitted a letter to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, arguing against the opening of oyster sanctuaries for harvesting purposes.

“[CAC] is an advisory committee and they are meant to represent the citizen’s perspective on Bay restoration,” Enloe said.

CAC’s 2011 letter to the ASMFC on Atlantic menhaden argued for a new overfishing target and threshold – a stance shared by 91,141 commenters. (By comparison, only 35 letters argued for the status quo, or no change to how the fishery was managed).

The letter stated, “We believe that adoption of [these options] would be an adequate interim step that will both help increase the menhaden population while not significantly impacting the fishery.” Under the scenarios that CAC recommended, ASMFC predicted that the fishery would be reduced 37 percent from 2010 levels – a smaller percentage than other options being considered by the agency.

Saving Seafood, a fishing industry trade group, posted Domenech’s letter on their “Saving Menhaden Fisheries” website. You can find it here. The website is partially funded by Omega Protein Inc, the industrial fishing company that removes a quarter of a billion pounds of menhaden from Atlantic waters yearly, making Atlantic menhaden the largest fishery in the continental United States by volume in 2010.

Omega Protein’s Atlantic operations are based in Reedville, Virginia. The company has donated $195,000 to Virginia lawmakers since 2005, including over $50,000 to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s inaugural committee and PAC between 2009 and 2010.

In January 2010, Gov. McDonnell appointed Doug Domenech to serve as the Secretary of Natural Resources for the state of Virginia.

The industrial fishery and its political allies may have an interest in maintaining status quo in menhaden management, but stock assessment science has amply demonstrated that menhaden are in trouble.

A committee of scientists found that menhaden stocks have declined 88 percent in the last 25 years, overfishing has occurred in 32 of the last 54 years, and that the annual removal of adult fish by the fishery is 65 percent or higher, making it unlikely that most menhaden have a chance to spawn more than once. These results were published in the 2010 ASMFC stock assessment for Atlantic menhaden.

An independent peer review panel found that the reference points used to judge the health of the menhaden stock were not conservative enough. If new science-based reference points are used to analyze the last half-century, overfishing would have occurred during 52 out of the last 54 years.

The Fishery Management Plan for menhaden, prepared by the ASMFC, includes a commitment to end overfishing when it is found to be occurring. As a keystone species in the Atlantic and its estuaries, menhaden are integral to the health of the Bay watershed. Concern over their significant decline should be a critical focus of the Secretary of Natural Resources for the state of Virginia.


Read the original letter here
avatar
fishgent
Deckhand

Join date : 2010-08-24
Age : 51
Location : Pinehurst/Southern Pines

Back to top Go down

Re: ASMFC Approves Public Information Document - Menhaden

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum