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ASMFC Weakfish Board Initiates Development of Addendum to Address Stock Declines

Alexandria, VA – The Commission’s Weakfish Management Board authorized development of an addendum to Amendment 4 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Weakfish to address stock declines. The action is taken in response to the latest stock assessment, which indicates that total mortality has risen substantially since 1995, and biomass has sharply declined from 2000 to 2003. Weakfish biomass has fallen below Amendment 4’s biological reference points, triggering the requirement of state action to rebuild biomass to 30 percent of an unfished stock in six years or less.

“Amendment 4 requires the states to reduce weakfish mortality once the biological reference points are triggered. In initiating development of an addendum, the Board has taken an important first step in responding to decreased landings and biomass of weakfish,” stated Board Chair Dr. Louis Daniel of North Carolina.

The Board has tasked the Technical Committee with developing a range of management options to reduce fishing mortality, including the anticipated rebuilding effects of those options. The draft addendum will also propose revisions to Amendment 4’s biological sampling requirements in order to meet the data needs of the annual stock assessment. These data include information on age, length, and weight of weakfish landed commercially and recreationally. The Board will be reviewing the draft addendum in August.

For more information, please contact Braddock Spear, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at (202)289-6400 or <[email protected]>.
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Tina Berger
Public Affairs Specialist
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
1444 I Street. NW, Sixth Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202)289-6400
FAX: (202)289-6051
Email: [email protected]
www.asmfc.org

ASMFC Vision: Healthy, self-sustaining populations of all Atlantic coast fish species or successful restoration well in progress by the year 2015.
 
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