The Atlantic coastal states of Maine through Virginia have scheduled their virtual hearings to gather public input on the Atlantic Striped Bass Draft Amendment 7 Public Information Document (PID). The details of those hearings follow:
As the first step in the amendment process, the PID seeks input from those interested in striped bass about changes observed in the fishery/resource and potential management measures. It has been 18 years since the last plan amendment to the Atlantic Striped Bass FMP was adopted (Amendment 6). Since then, the status and understanding of the striped bass stock and fishery has changed considerably which raises concern that the management program no longer reflects current fishery needs and priorities. The results of the 2018 Benchmark Stock Assessment in particular led the Board to discuss a number of prominent issues facing striped bass management. Consequently, the Board initiated the development of Amendment 7 in August 2020.
The purpose of the PID is to solicit stakeholder input on prioritizing the importance of each topic for continued development and potential inclusion in the Draft Amendment. The PID considers the following management topics: (1) fishery goals and objectives; (2) biological reference points; (3) management triggers; (4) stock rebuilding targets and schedule; (5) regional management; (6) management program equivalency (conservation equivalency); (7) recreational release mortality; (8) recreational accountability; (9) coastal commercial quota allocation; and (10) other issues raised in public comments.
To register for a public hearing please click here: Public Hearing Registration [attendee.gotowebinar.com] and select the hearing(s) you plan to attend from the dropdown menu. Hearings will be held via GoToWebinar, which can be accessed using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. When connecting to audio, we strongly encourage participants to use computer voice over internet (VoIP) so you can ask questions and provide input. To attend the webinar in listen only mode, dial 1-213-929-4232 and enter access code 527-210-568. Those joining by phone only will be limited to listening to the presentation and will not be able to provide input at the hearing. For technical assistance setting up and logging into GoToWebinar, contact Toni Kerns at 703.842.0718.
If you are connected only by phone in listen only mode, you will not show up as a webinar attendee. In the event that there are no webinar attendees, the public hearing will be cancelled unless state staff request that the hearing content is presented.
The Commission will also post a recording of the hearing presentation on the Commission’s YouTube page [youtube.com] so that stakeholders may watch the presentation and submit comment at any time during the comment process. This recording will be available by March 1, 2021.
Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input on the PID either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. The Public Information Document is available here or via the Commission’s website. Public comment will be accepted until 5 PM (EST) on April 9, 2021 and should be forwarded to Emilie Franke, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite 200A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Striped Bass PID). If your organization is planning to release an action alert in response to the PID, please contact Emilie Franke at 703.842.0740, so she can work with you to develop a unique subject line to enable us to better organize and summarize incoming comments for Board review.
The Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board will meet at the Commission’s 2021 Spring Meeting in May to consider public comment and provide direction to staff for items to be included in Draft Amendment 7. For more information, please contact Emilie Franke, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at email@example.com or 703.842.0740.
The press release can also be found at the ASMFC website.