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Old 08-30-2005, 10:34 PM
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Default ASMFC Releases Draft Amendment 1 for the Atlantic Croaker

Subject: ASMFC Releases Draft Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Croaker Planfor Public Comment

The following is a press release from the Atlantic State Marine
Fisheries Commission:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, AUGUST 26, 2005
PRESS CONTACT, TINA BERGER (202) 289-6400

ASMFC Releases Draft Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Croaker Plan for
Public Comment
States Schedule Public Hearings for September/October

The Commission's South Atlantic State/Federal Fisheries Management
Board
has approved Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for
Atlantic Croaker for public review and comment. Maryland, Virginia and
North Carolina, and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission have
scheduled
the dates and times of their public hearings. New Jersey will also be
conducting a public hearing although the specifics of that hearing have
not
been determined. For more information, please check the Commission's
website at http://www.asmfc.org/meetings.htm or contact Bruce Freeman
at
(609) 633-2408.

The details of the scheduled hearings follow.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
September 26, 2005; 6:30 PM
Tawes State Office Building
C-1 Conference Room
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401
Contact: Howard King at (410) 260-8281

Potomac River Fisheries Commission
October 5, 2005; 6:30 PM
222 Taylor Street
John T. Parran Hearing Room
Colonial Beach, VA 22443
Contact: AC Carpenter at (804) 224-7148

Virginia Marine Resources Commission
September 28, 2005; 6:00 PM
2600 Washington Avenue
Third Floor
Newport News, VA 23607
Contact: Jack Travelstead at (757) 247-2247

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries
September 29, 2005; 6:00 PM
North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
374 Airport Road
Manteo, NC 27954
Contact Louis Daniel at (252) 726-7021

Draft Amendment 1 incorporates information from the 2004 peer-reviewed
stock assessment as well as the required provisions of the Atlantic
Coastal
Fisheries Cooperative Management Act. It proposes the establishment of
biological reference points (i.e., biomass and fishing mortality
targets
and thresholds) to manage the croaker resource and includes options to
control fishing mortality regionally or on a coastwide basis. The
Draft
Amendment also identifies research priorities to bolster future stock
assessments and encourages the states and the federal government to
continue ongoing juvenile and adult surveys for data collection
purposes.

The Board will meet in early November to review public comment on the
Draft
Amendment and consider its final approval. Fishermen and other
interested
groups are encouraged to provide input on Draft Amendment 1 either by
attending public hearings or providing written comments. Copies of the
Draft Amendment May 23can be obtained via the Commission's website at
www.asmfc.org



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