1. TITLE OF THE REGULATIONS:
TIDAL FINFISH REGULATION 3521 WEAKFISH SIZE LIMITS; POSSESSION LIMITS; SEASONS
2. BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF THE SUBJECT, SUBSTANCE AND ISSUES:
In accordance with Addendum II to Amendment 4 of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Weakfish, Delaware is required to lower the recreational possession limit on weakfish from eight (8) per day to six (6) per day by October 29, 2007. Similarly, the commercial hook and line daily harvest limit shall be reduced as well from eight (8) per day to six (6) per day, except on four specific days of the week as indicated by the Department on said person’s food fishing equipment permit for hook and line. During the four days of the week so specified, commercial hook and line fishermen are not constrained by daily harvest limits, although minimum size limits still apply. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission took this action in order to conserve weakfish as an aid to future stock recovery. All major weakfish harvesting states along the Atlantic seaboard are required to take this action.
3. POSSIBLE TERMS OF THE AGENCY ACTION:
If commercial fishing removals of weakfish should rise to a pre-determined level consistent with average removals over the last five years, the Commission will give consideration to further restraints on commercial fishing. Similarly if Delaware’s or any other state’s commercial weakfish landings exceed its five-year mean by more than 25% in any single year, the Commission will review the findings and take action as it deems appropriate. If the commercial measures in the Weakfish Plan are modified, it would be incumbent upon Delaware to come into compliance with the applicable changes.
4. STATUTORY BASIS OR LEGAL AUTHORITY TO ACT:
§903 of 7 Delaware Code and Chapter 15 of 7 Delaware Code.
5. OTHER REGULATIONS THAT MAY BE AFFECTED BY THE PROPOSAL: