The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will hold a public hearing in Delaware at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, to gather public comment on its draft Interstate Fishery Management Plan for black drum. The hearing will be held in DNREC’s Auditorium at 89 Kings Highway in Dover.
The draft plan solicits comment on a range of issues, including management goals and objectives; recreational and commercial management measures; flexibility for ASMFC to react to new assessment information; exemptions and de minimis levels (the level at which a state’s catch has so little impact coastwide that the state may be exempt from some monitoring and reporting requirements); monitoring requirements and recommendations; and recommended measures for implementation by NOAA Fisheries in federal waters.
The plan was drafted in response to concerns regarding significant increases in harvest in recent years. Although the Delaware commercial and recreational fisheries target adult black drum, the commercial and recreational fisheries in several other states primarily target juveniles. Further, the lack of consistent coastwide regulations or management goals may negatively impact the black drum population as fishing pressures shift from other stocks.
The draft plan is scheduled for final approval during ASFMC’s 2013 spring meeting in May.
Anglers and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the draft Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for black drum either by attending the public hearing or submitting written comment. The plan is available for review on ASFMC’s website www.asmfc.org, under Breaking News.
The public comment deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, April 26, 2013. Comments should be sent by mail to Toni Kerns, Interstate Fisheries Management Plan Director, 1050 N. Highland Street, Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; or by email to [email protected], subject line: Black Drum FMP.