ASMFC broadens glass eel options, refines yellow/silver eel proposals

ALEXANDRIA, VA – States that currently are not allowed to have glass eel fisheries may be able to earn quota in the future by carrying out “stock enhancement programs that increase glass eel passage.”  And, in another potential shift in strategy, states also may get the chance to harvest small amounts of glass eels from marginal habitat areas for further grow-out in domestic aquaculture facilities.

These are just two of the new proposals going out to public hearing this summer under Draft Addendum IV to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) American Eel Fishery Management Plan (see box next page for hearing dates and locations).

The package builds on action taken last summer by ASMFC under Addendum III, which put in place a number of measures primarily for yellow eels and the recreational fishery (see CFN September 2013 for details).

Draft Addendum IV contains a large number of options for glass eels, additional measures for yellow eels, and proposals for the silver eel commercial weir fishery in the New York portion of the Delaware River and its tributaries.  It also includes a new program that would give states the ability to petition the commission’s American Eel Management Board with state-specific “sustainable fishery management plans” that, if approved, could be implemented in lieu of other ASMFC-required measures.

The eel board worked on all of these options during its May 12 meeting here.  But, as has been the case for the past two years, the glass eel fishery dominated the discussion…

CFN_7_14coverRead the rest and much, much more in the July issue of Commercial Fisheries News.

Read online immediately and download for future reference.