ASMFC Approves Smooth Dogfish Draft Addendum for Public Comment

News Release

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission ( ASMFC )

21. February 2013

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

Alexandria, VA – The Commission’s Spiny Dogfish and Coastal Sharks Management Board approved Draft Addendum II to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Coastal Sharks for public comment. The Draft Addendum proposes measures to establish state shares for smooth dogfish and allow commercial fishermen to process smooth dogfish at sea with a 12% maximum fin-to-carcass ratio, consistent with the Shark Conservation Act of 2010.

The purpose of the Addendum is to preserve the historical distribution of smooth dogfish landings prior to the implementation of a federal quota for smooth dogfish (also known as smoothhound) and to ensure consistency between the state and federal plans. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Highly Migratory Species Division (HMS) is working to amend the HMS Fishery Management Plan to include measures from the Shark Conservation Act. This rule will also include a federal smoothhound shark quota.

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 Breaking News by February 26, 2013. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on March 28, 2013 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 mhawk@asmfc.org (Subject line: Smooth Dogfish Draft Addendum II).

Source: ASMFC

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