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Washington, DC – The Commission’s Weakfish Management Board has approved sending forward Draft Addendum I to Amendment 4 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Weakfish for public review and comment. The Draft Addendum was developed in response to concern over declines in both weakfish abundance and commercial and recreational catches, and proposes reductions in recreational bag limits, commercial and recreational seasons, and bycatch allowances.

Atlantic coastal states from Rhode Island through Florida have scheduled the dates and times of their public hearings; their details follow.


Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management
Tuesday, October 11, 2005; 6:00 PM
University of Rhode Island
Narragansett Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium
South Ferry Road
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Contact: Brian Murphy at (401) 423-1941

Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection
Tuesday, September 27, 2005; 7:00 PM
Marine Headquarters, Boating Education Center
333 Ferry Road
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Contact: David Simpson at (860) 434-6043

New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (Tentative location)
Wednesday, October 12, 2005; 7:00 – 10:00 PM
Brookhaven Town Hall Auditorium
1 Independence Hill
Farmingville, New York
Contact: Byron Young (631) 444-0436

New Jersey Division Fish and Wildlife
Wednesday, October 12, 2005; 7:30 – 9:30 PM
Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension
355 Court House-South Dennis Road
Route 657
Cape May Court House, New Jersey
Contact: Bruce Freeman at (609) 633-2408
and
Thursday, October 13, 2005; 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Ocean County Administration Building
Room 119
101 Hooper Avenue
Toms River, New Jersey
Contact: Bruce Freeman at (609) 633-2408

Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Tuesday, October 18, 2005; 7:00 PM
Auditorium
89 Kings Highway
Dover, Delaware
Contact: Roy Miller at (302) 739-9914

Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources
Thursday, September 29, 2005; 6:00 PM
Tawes State Office Building
C-1 Conference Room
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland
Contact: Howard King (410) 260-8282

Virginia Marine Resources Commission
Monday, September 26, 2005; 6:00 PM
2600 Washington Avenue, Fourth Floor
Newport News, Virginia
Contact: Jack Travelstead at (757) 247-2247

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries
Tuesday, September 27, 2005; 6:00 PM
Duke Marine Laboratory Auditorium
135 Duke Marine Lab Road
Beaufort, North Carolina
Contact: Louis Daniel at (252) 726-7021
and
Wednesday, September 28, 2005; 6:00 PM
Roanoke Island Festival Park
1 Festival Park
Manteo, North Carolina
Contact: Louis Daniel at (252) 726-7021

South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources
& Georgia Coastal Resources
Wednesday, October 5, 2005; 6:00 PM
SC Marine Resources Center
Law Enforcement Conference Room
217 Ft. Johnson Road
Charleston, South Carolina
Contacts: Mel Bell at (843) 953-9007 and Spud Woodward (912) 264-7218

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Friday, October 14, 2005; 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Atlantic Beach City Hall
Commission Chambers
800 Seminole Road
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Contact: Roy Williams at (850) 487-0554

The Draft Addendum also addresses a major challenge in assessing the weakfish population, namely significant gaps in biological data such as age and length. It proposes new required levels of biological sampling intensity and considers the implications of state noncompliance. The Board will meet in early November to review public comment on the Draft Addendum and consider its final approval.

Copies of the Draft Addendum can be obtained via the Commission’s website at www.asmfc.org under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at (202) 289-6400. Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on Draft Amendment 1 either by attending public hearings or providing written comments. Public comment will be accepted until 5 PM on October 21, 2005 and should be forwarded to Braddock Spear, Weakfish Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at 1444 ‘Eye’ Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005; (202)289-6051 (fax) or [email protected] (Subject line: Weakfish). For more information, please contact Braddock Spear at (202)289-6400 or [email protected].
 
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