Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to Hold Virtual Public Hearing on Recreational Harvest Control Rule


The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will hold a joint Delaware-New Jersey virtual public hearing regarding the Recreational Harvest Control Rule Draft Addenda to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and the Bluefish FMP, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. The virtual hearing will be held Monday, March 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. To register for the hearing and for more information about providing input at the hearing, visit the ASMFC website.

The draft addenda considers changes to the process used by the ASMFC and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) to set recreational possession, size and season limit management measures for summer flounder, scup, black sea bass and bluefish. MAFMC is considering an identical set of options. Taking final action on the addenda will not implement any specific possession, size or season limits, but rather will start a new specification process for setting future management measures. 

These potential changes are intended to provide greater stability and predictability in recreational fisheries management measures from year to year. The changes also will place greater emphasis on stock status when setting management measures. The draft addenda proposes five possible approaches for setting management measures. Key differences between the options include the information considered when setting measures, and the circumstances under which management measures would change.

The draft addenda is available on the ASMFC website, as is a reference guide to aid stakeholders in understanding the options contained in the draft addenda. The comment period for the Harvest Control Rule Draft Addenda runs until 11:59 p.m. EDT April 22, 2022 for providing input on the management of recreational summer flounder, scup, black sea bass and bluefish. Written comment should be sent to Dustin Colson Leaming, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, Virginia 22201; faxed to 703-842-0740; or submitted by email to comments@asmfc.org (Subject: “Harvest Control Rule”).