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#06-146 June 5, 2006

Public invited to discuss shark management plan

A meeting to discuss a public information document drafted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will be held in Charleston to generate public input towards a comprehensive plan for the conservation and management of coastal sharks. 

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, June 5 at the Marine Resources Research Institute Auditorium,Sand Tiger Shark (NOAA) Marine Resources Center at Fort Johnson on James Island in Charleston. For additional information on the Charleston meeting, contact DNR fisheries biologist Mel Bell, (843) 953-9007. Prior to the meeting, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s public information document can be reviewed at www.asmfc.org (pdf required).

As part of the Commission’s overview on Atlantic coastal sharks, public review and input is a required step for the development of an interstate fishery management plan. 

Eight Atlantic coastal states are participating and will hold public review meetings to discuss the public information document. Anglers and other interested groups are invited to discuss changes observed in the fishery, things that should or should not be practiced in terms of management, regulation, enforcement, research, development, enhancement and any other concerns about the resource of the fishery, as well as the reasons for those concerns. Following public comment and review, the Commission will develop a conclusive fishery management plan for Atlantic coastal sharks.

Cooperation between federal and state governments in developing coordinated conservation measures is important in developing a successful management plan for coastal shark species. Because the unique nature of shark biology makes shark species more susceptible to overfishing, traditional fisheries management methods become less effective.

In addition to the public meetings, those interested may provide written comments and input to Ruth Christiansen, Fisheries Management Plan Coordinator, 1444 ‘Eye’ Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 289-6051 (fax); or comments@asmfc.org.
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