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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - PR17-38rev2 Cobia

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Tina Berger
Date: Sept. 19 2017
Phone: 703-842-0740

South Atlantic States Schedule Public Hearings on
Draft FMP for Atlantic Migratory Group Cobia
North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia Reschedule Hearings

8-point rule


 
This press release modifies that of September 8th. North Carolina’s September 19th hearing has been rescheduled to Thursday, September 21st at the same location and time. South Carolina and Georgia have also rescheduled their hearing dates to September 26th and 25th, respectively. Please note Georgia’s hearing will occur via webinar only. Please see below for the revised details of the three hearings.

Arlington, VA — The South Atlantic states of Virginia through Georgia have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Migratory Group (AMG) Cobia. The details of those hearings follow.

Virginia Marine Resources Commission
September 12, 2017 at 6 p.m.
2600 Washington Ave 4th floor
Newport News, VA
Contact: Joe Cimino at 757-247-2236

RESCHEDULED: North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries
September 21, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Hatteras Community Center
57689 NC Highway 12
Hatteras, NC
Contact: Michelle Duval at 252-808-8013

September 20, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Central District Office
5285 US Highway 70 West
Morehead City, NC
Contact: Michelle Duval at 252-808-8013

RESCHEDULED: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
September 26, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Town & Country Inn
2008 Savannah Highway
Charleston, SC
Contact: Mel Bell at 843-953-9007

RESCHEDULED: Georgia Department of Natural Resources
September 25, 2017 at 6 p.m.
This hearing will occur via webinar only
Call in for webinar audio at 888-394-8197 and enter Passcode: 815277 when prompted
Webinar Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8431746040563966466
Contact: Pat Geer at 912-264-7218

The intent of the Draft FMP is to complement federal AMG cobia management actions and distribute catches among member states through a proposed allocation strategy. The Draft FMP was initiated in response to recent overages of the federal annual catch limit (ACL) for AMG Cobia. The Draft FMP addresses immediate management and conservation goals in anticipation of a new benchmark AMG cobia stock assessment in 2018. Management options include size, bag, and vessel limits to complement federal measures along with proposed de minimis options for Mid-Atlantic states (Maryland through New York) whose landings are minimal or episodic.

The most significant change may come in the form of state-specific recreational allocations. The current ACL for AMG cobia is 670,000 pounds (620,000 pound recreational ACL and a 50,000 pound commercial quota). Managing the recreational ACL on a coastwide basis has resulted in federal closures and significant overages in 2015 and 2016, disrupting fishing opportunities and jeopardizing the health of the stock. The Draft FMP contains a number of proposed options to allocate a recreational harvest limit (equal to the federal recreational ACL) to the four primary states (Georgia-Virginia) to allow those states more flexibility in developing seasonal options that best suit their specific state’s recreational and for-hire interests.

At this time, the options for the commercial AMG cobia fishery do not include state specific allocations and generally complement the proposed federal requirements. The Draft FMP is available at http://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/DraftCobiaFMP_PublicComment_Aug2017.pdf or on the Commission’s website, www.asmfc.org, under Public Input. Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft FMP either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. (EST) on October 6, 2017 and should be forwarded to Louis Daniel, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703-842-0741 (FAX) or at comments@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Cobia FMP). Final action on the Draft FMP is scheduled to occur in October 2017. For more information, please contact Louis Daniel, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at ldaniel@asmfc.org or 252-342-1478.

PR17-38rev2

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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