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Work begins on 2015 bluefish catch plan

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The Bluefish Advisory Panel of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has scheduled a public webinar to write its Fishery Performance Report. The meeting takes place on Friday, July 11, 2014, from 9 a.m. to noon. The council announced the meeting in the Federal Register of Monday, June 23, 2014.

The public is welcome to listen in via the link at http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/bluefish/. Or you can listen in in person at the council office at 800 N. State St., Suite 201, Dover, Del., 19901, (302) 674-2331. The facility is accessible to people with disabilities. But if anybody needs any special accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, call M. Jan Saunders at the council 0ffice at (302) 526-5251.

If you have any questions about the meeting or the issue, contact Council Executive Director Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., at the above address. The panel may also discuss other matters at the webinar but it will not take any official action on them, unless emergency issues arise. If that happens, the public will be notified in advance, as required under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation & Management Act.

The bluefish fishery report the panel develops will then go to the council and its Scientific & Statistical Committee for review. They will use it to determine the specifications for 2015. Just last Friday, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced its final bluefish rules for the rest of 2014, so it's time to get to work dealing with next year.

The final 2014 rules take effect July 21 and last through the end of the year. The retain the annual retention rate of 15 bluefish per person. NMFS adopted the same rules it proposed as it did not receive any substantial objections to them. The fishery is jointly managed by the council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

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