DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
Division of Fish and Wildlife
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board adopted a compliance requirement at the August 2005 meeting stipulating that all states in the management regime (Massachusetts through North Carolina) for Black Sea Bass include language in their regulations, by January 1, 2007, that require at least two escape vents in the parlor section of all fish pots used to harvest Black Sea Bass. In addition, the Board stipulated that all circular vents used in fish pots must be at least 2.5 inches in diameter to allow escapement of sub-legal size fish. The Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the ASMFC sponsored a workshop on March 22, 2005 to generate discussion and recommendations on whether the current vent sizes used are appropriate for scup and black sea bass pots and traps. Workshop participants recommended that circle vents increase in size to 2.5 inches and that rectangular and square vent sizes remain unchanged. They also recommended that each pot/trap have at least two escape vents in the parlor portion of the trap. In general the workshop group agreed that these changes would increase the escapement of sub-legal fish. The Board and Council adopted the workshop recommendations at the August 2005 meeting and in order to allow industry adequate time to make the proper gear changes the effective date was delayed until January 1, 2007. The Board specified that these gear changes would be compliance requirements that must be implemented through out the management regime (Massachusetts through North Carolina) for black sea bass by January 1, 2007.
Individuals may present their comments or request additional information by contacting the Fisheries Section, (302) 739-9914. A public hearing on these proposed amendments will be held on October 24, 2006 at 7:30 PM in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway. Dover, DE 19901. The record will remain open for comments until 4:30 PM October 27, 2006.