The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) is collecting stakeholder feedback and suggestions regarding current and future management of the recreational summer flounder fishery. Public input provided will help inform the development of a management strategy evaluation (MSE)
which will evaluate different management strategies designed to minimize discards in the recreational summer flounder fishery. The deadline to complete the scoping comment form is Monday, January 25, 2021.
The Council is developing this MSE as part of the continued implementation of its Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) structured framework process. The overarching goal of this process is to develop tools that enable the Council to incorporate ecosystem considerations into the evaluation of policy choices and trade-offs as they affect Council-managed species and the broader ecosystem (see: https://www.mafmc.org/eafm for more information).
The Council has already completed the first two steps in the structured framework process: (1) development of an EAFM risk assessment to prioritize fishery ecosystem interactions and (2) development of a conceptual model to identify key management questions to address high risk interactions.
The next step is to conduct a management strategy evaluation. The purpose of an MSE is to evaluate different management approaches within an ecosystem context to determine if the outcomes associated with the different approaches achieve management goals and objectives. This specific MSE will evaluate the biological and economic benefits of management alternatives to minimize discards (dead and alive) in the recreational summer flounder fishery.
We Need Your Input
A critical part of the MSE process is to obtain input from a diverse group of stakeholders engaged in the summer flounder fishery and management. This public comment opportunity seeks to gain information regarding stakeholder concerns about discards in the recreational summer flounder fishery, possible management objectives to address these concerns, and possible performance metrics to achieve these objectives.
The Council encourages all stakeholders who have interest, knowledge, or experience related to the recreational summer flounder fishery to provide comments at the link below. The form should take 10-15 minutes to complete. Your answers will be kept confidential and, if you choose, can be completely anonymous. The information collected will be used by Council staff, facilitators, and a technical work group to help guide model development and plan future stakeholder workshops.
Click on the link below to complete the comment form by Monday, January 25, 2021. Please feel free to share this opportunity with anyone who may be interested.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Brandon Muffley – firstname.lastname@example.org or at (302) 526-5260.