Council to Hold Public Hearings on Special Management Zone Designation for Delaware Reefs

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a series of public hearings next week to collect comments on Special Management Zone designation for Delaware reefs.

January 17, 7–9 p.m. Ocean County Administration Building, 101 Hooper Avenue, Public Hearing Room 119 Toms River, NJ 08754

January 16, 7–9 p.m. DNREC— Division of Watershed Stewardship Bldg. 901 Pilottown Road Lewes, DE 19958

January 15, 7-9 p.m., Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel, 10100 Coastal Highway Ocean City, MD 21842, Telephone: 410-524–3535

Hearing Schedule

Background: Delaware petitioned the Council to designate five ocean artificial reef sites as Special Management Zones (SMZs) in June 2011.

The petition was made to reduce gear conflicts between recreational fishermen and pot/trap gear at those sites.  If these gear conflicts continue, Delaware will likely lose its federal funding (Sport Fish Restoration Funds) for its artificial reef program in federal waters (beyond 3 miles from shore).  These funds are effectively Delaware’s only source of funding for its artificial reef building program.

The Council has been evaluating Delaware's SMZ request and has developed a number of options to address this issue.  The options primarily consist of limiting the gears used on the SMZs, for all or parts of the year.  The Council is seeking public comment on the proposed options.

Can't attend a hearing? Submit written comments:

Email: (include ''SMZ Comments'' in the subject)


Chris Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council
800 North State Street
Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901

(write ''SMZ Comments'' on envelope)


Chris Moore, Ph.D., (302) 674-5399
(include “SMZ Comments” in the subject)

Deadline: January 29, 2013