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Nontraditional Stakeholders Sought for Participation in ASMFC Advisory Panels for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass

The Commission's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board is in the process of re-configuring its three species advisory panels. As part of that process, the Board is seeking nominations from nontraditional stakeholders to fill two seats on each of the three advisory panels (summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass). Examples of such stakeholders include, but are not limited to, nongovernmental organizations, grassroots organizations, and individuals/groups with an interest in fisheries and habitat conservation.

The intent of this action is to broaden the scope of public input to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council as they develop Amendments 14 & 15 to the Fishery Management Plans for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass. Amendment 14 focuses on scup rebuilding while Amendment 15 deals with a wide-range of management issues affecting all three species. The Commission believes that input from nontraditional stakeholders will strengthen its efforts in successfully managing these species. Individuals interested in serving as advisors can obtain an advisory panel nomination form by contacting the Commission at (202) 289-6400 or downloading the nomination form via the Commission's website at Interstate Fisheries Management. A completed nomination form must be submitted to the Commission by 5:00 PM on November 30.

The Commission's advisory panel process was established to address its increasing responsibilities under the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act. The Act mandates, among other considerations, that the Commission provide adequate public participation in its fishery management planning process, including at least four public hearings and procedures for submission of written comments to the Commission. In 2002, the Commission established the Advisory Panel Oversight Committee, comprised of a subset of legislative and governor-appointed Commissioners and Advisory Panel Chairs, to provide oversight to its advisory panel process. Advisory panels have been developed for Atlantic croaker, Atlantic herring, Atlantic menhaden, American eel, American lobster, black sea bass, bluefish, coastal sharks, horseshoe crab, northern shrimp, red drum, scup, shad & river herring, spiny dogfish, striped bass, summer flounder, tautog, weakfish, and winter flounder. For more information, please contact Tina Berger, Public Affairs Specialist, at (202)289-6400 or [email protected].
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