What to Watch for: ASMFC Spring Meeting

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASFMC) will gather in Arlington, Virginia this week for the 2024 Spring Meeting. As always, we are closely watching several of the Board and Committee meetings. While many important decisions on critical species were made in previous meetings, there are still a few things we will keep an eye on. The following blog entry provides a brief preview:

April 30th, 2024

11:45-12:15 — The Sciaenids Board will meet and give updates on the red drum, croaker, and spot Benchmark Stock Assessments. While this might not be front of mind for our members further up the East Coast, this is a big deal for the angling community south of New Jersey.  We will monitor the assessment progress for all three species. 

1:15-2:45 — The Atlantic Menhaden Management Board will meet to discuss a new winter survey and updates from state programs. Katie Drew, the stock assessment scientist, will give both an Ecological Reference Point Benchmark Assessment (ERP) update, as well as the Single-Species Assessment Update. Remember, the ERP model takes into account the menhaden forage needs of four predators (striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, and dogfish) while the Single-Species model does not.  The new winter survey was done with acoustic technology off the coast of New Jersey. The ASGA team attended a recent virtual meeting at Chesapeake Biologic Laboratory that reviewed the survey. Hopefully, this new information will make the ERP Assessment more robust.  With all of that said, the Virginia Legislature rejected a bill that would have funded research within the bay to explore localized depletion.  Without that research, we are stuck in a fisheries management quagmire. We will provide more insight on that topic and the recent VMRC meeting in a future blog…

May 1st, 2024

10:15-11:45 — The Coastal Pelagics Management Board will consider approval of Cobia Draft Addendum II on Recreational Allocation, Harvest Evaluation, and Measures Setting for Public Comment.This is another management action that our members in the Southern regions are watching closely. Spanish Mackerel will be a big topic of discussion as well. The Spanish Mackerel Stock Assessment failed review. The South Atlantic Council held recent Port Hearings to address the situation. A Spanish Mackerel White Paper will be presented by ASMFC staff as well. Spanish are important to many of our members and we will do our best to keep everyone updated on this issue.

1:15-2:45 —The Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board will review the state plan revisions submitted by Maryland and Potomac River Marine Fisheries Commission. We hope you recall the recent meeting in which Mike Luisi gave 1000 reasons why Maryland should be given a free pass on ignoring critical aspects of striped bass management. Yes, that was the same meeting he threatened to go out of compliance. Maryland and PRFC backed down from their threats quickly once the board showed little support for their continued games. If every other jurisdiction can comply with the commercial reductions, they can too. 

The other compelling item on the agenda is Commissioner Mike Armstrong of Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries will be giving a presentation on the Mass DMF Striped Bas Release Mortality Study. Please remember to download the GotOne! App so you can have your striped bass catch used for science. You can learn more about that collaborative research opportunity in this episode of The Guide Post Podcast. Right after Mike’s presentation, there will be a discussion about starting a workgroup to look at release mortality. You can bet that the usual suspects will want to be on that list. Let’s hope quality commissioners who have the best interest of the stock join as well. 

The ASGA team will be listening to every minute of these meetings focused on the best interests of our membership and the resource. We will product a rapid reaction podcast with our take on the meeting as soon as the striped bass portion is finished. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to The Guide Post on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. If you like what you hear, a positive review on either platform would mean the world to us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recent Articles:

Browse by Category:

Search all Categories

Stand with Us

We rely on our members and donations to keep fighting for a sustainable tomorrow in marine conservation.

By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. We use cookies to provide you with a great experience and to help our website run effectively. To learn more, please review our privacy policy.