Comments are due by 5:00PM, July 11, 2016 on Draft Addendum I to Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Menhaden proposes modifying the FMP’s bycatch allowance provision.
The current regulations pertaining to fixed multispecies stationary gear (i.e. pound net) fishing allows one licensed individual to harvest 6000 lbs. of menhaden bycatch per vessel per day. The public is asked to comment on changing this regulation to allow 2 licensed individuals fishing from a single boat the ability to harvest 12,000 lbs. per day when fishing multispecies stationary gear. This change is requested primarily for the Chesapeake Bay pound net fishery. It will allow licensed individuals to pool their resources for fuel and crew and work from a single boat, vs. multiple boats. This change will not increase the total landings of menhaden. This method of fishing represents less than 2% of the total coast wide landings for menhaden.