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ASMFC American Eel Board Postpones Action on Draft Addendum IV
Maine Commits to Develop Plan with Industry to Control Glass Eel Harvest

St. Simons Island, GA - The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s American Eel Management Board has postponed action on Draft Addendum IV until the it’s 2014 Spring Meeting so that it can continue to develop options for implementation during the 2015 fishing season. In the interim, Maine will meet with stakeholders in the glass eel fishery and develop a plan to reduce harvest of glass eels by 25-40% from the 2013 harvest for the 2014 fishing season. Landings in 2013 totaled 18,253 pounds and were valued at nearly $33 million.

Draft Addendum IV was initiated in response to 2012 American Eel Benchmark Stock Assessment. The assessment found that American eel populations are depleted coastwide and recommended to reduce mortality across all life stages. Draft Addendum IV proposes management changes to the commercial glass, yellow, and silver eel fisheries. The Board approved Addendum III in August 2013 which implemented a 9 inch minimum size for the commercial and recreational yellow eel fishery, gear restrictions for the commercial yellow eel fishery, restrictions to the commercial silver eel fishery, and a decrease to the recreational creel limit. Combined both addenda intend to reduce fishing mortality and improve the health of the resource.

For more information, please contact Kate Taylor, Senior FMP Coordinator, at ktaylor@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.