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For Release: Friday, July 26, 2013

DEC Adopts New Rules for Atlantic Menhaden Commercial Quota Management, A Recreational Possession Limit and Reporting Requirements

Revisions Comply With Fishery Management Plan Requirements

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced new emergency regulations to establish Atlantic menhaden commercial quota management, reporting requirements and a recreational possession limit. This rule making is necessary to adopt changes to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Atlantic menhaden Fishery Management Plan (FMP) in order to end overfishing on the stock and remain in compliance with the coast-wide plan.

The Atlantic Menhaden Management Board adopted new reference points for the status of Atlantic menhaden populations in response to the 2010 Peer Review Panel's recommendation to provide greater protection for the stock. The 2012 stock assessment update found overfishing on the Atlantic menhaden stock based on these new reference points. Prior to the changes, it was believed that overfishing was not happening. Amendment 2 to the FMP puts in place a total allowable catch (TAC) for the Atlantic coast to help end overfishing. The 2013 TAC is a 20 percent reduction from the 2009 through 2011 average landings and approximately 25 percent reduction from 2012 landings.

The new rules allow DEC to set trip limits and open and closed seasons for commercial menhaden harvest. They also impose a 100-fish possession limit for recreational fishers. For more information about these revisions, contact DEC's Marine Resources Bureau at 631-444-0444.

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