FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAY 6, 2009
PRESS CONTACT, TINA BERGER , 202/289-6400
Alexandria, VA – The Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden Management Board approved the initiation of Draft Addendum IV to Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden. The Draft Addendum will propose extending the Chesapeake Bay reduction fishery harvest cap, established through Addendum III, for an additional three years (2011 to 2013). The Board will annually review measures in Addendum IV, if approved, to determine if they are appropriate given the most recent information available about the stock and fishery.
The Board’s action was initiated by the Commonwealth of Virginia in order to accommodate its legislative process as well as ensure that the current management program is extended while menhaden research efforts continue. Virginia’s legislature, which meets January through March each year, is responsible for regulating the menhaden reduction fishery in state waters. With a new Addendum in place this year, Virginia state administrators can work with the legislature in early 2010 to amend Virginia Law to extend the harvest cap without the current cap expiring.
Addendum III established the current annual cap of 109,020 metric tons on reduction fishery harvests in Chesapeake Bay as a precautionary measure while research was conducted to address the question of menhaden abundance in the Bay. The cap has been in place since 2006 and will extend through 2010. Harvest for reduction purposes is prohibited in the Chesapeake Bay when 100 percent of the cap is landed. Over-harvest in any given year would be deducted from the next year’s quota. Addendum III also includes a provision allowing under-harvest in one year to be credited only to the following year’s cap, not to exceed 122,740 metric tons.
The Board will meet in August 2009, during the Commission’s Summer Meeting, to review the Draft Addendum and consider approving it for public comment. For more information, please contact Braddock Spear, Senior Fishery Management Plan Coordinator for Policy, at (202) 289-6400 or email@example.com.
Public Affairs Specialist
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
1444 I Street. NW, Sixth Floor
Washington, DC 20005
ASMFC Vision: Healthy, self-sustaining populations for all Atlantic coast fish species or successful restoration well in progress by the year 2015.