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The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is soliciting public input on a draft amendment to address management and conservation of blueline tilefish in the Mid-Atlantic. Four public hearings will be held between March 21 and March 29, 2016. Written comments will be accepted until Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

The draft amendment considers adding blueline tilefish (Caulolatilus microps) as a managed species in the Tilefish Fishery Management Plan, effectively turning that plan into the Golden and Blueline Tilefish Fishery Management Plan. The management measures proposed in the amendment are needed to constrain fishing mortality on the blueline tilefish stock and effectively manage the blueline tilefish fishery in waters off the Mid-Atlantic and Southern New England coasts.

PUBLIC HEARING DOCUMENT

Members of the public are invited to comment on any aspect of the Amendment. Following a review of comments received, the Council will choose preferred management measures and submit the Amendment to the Secretary of Commerce for approval and publication of proposed and final rules, both of which have additional comment periods.

For more information, contact Jason Didden at (302) 526-5254 or jdidden@mafmc.org.
Public Hearing Schedule

There will be four hearings with the following dates/times/locations:

    Monday March 21, 2016, 6 pm.  Dare County Administration Building, Commissioners Meeting Room, 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive, Manteo, NC 27954; telephone: (252) 475-5700.
    Tuesday March 22, 2016, 7 pm.  Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 3001 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451; telephone: (757) 213-3001.
    Monday, March 28, 2016, 7 pm.  Hilton Suites Oceanfront, 3200 Baltimore Ave., Ocean City, MD 21842; telephone: (410) 289-6444.
    Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 7 pm.  Hilton Garden Inn Lakewood, 1885 Route 70, Lakewood, NJ 08701; telephone (732) 262-5232.

Written Comments

    Written comments will be accepted until Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 11:59 pm. Comments may be sent by any of the following methods:
    Email – jdidden@mafmc.org (Include “Blueline Tilefish Comments” in the subject line)
    Mail – send comments to: Dr. Christopher Moore, Executive Director, MAFMC, 800 North State St., Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901 (Mark the outside of the envelope “Blueline Tilefish Comments”)
    Fax – (302) 674–5399.

These public hearings are accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

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