The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section has approved Draft Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Northern Shrimp for public comment.

The amendment includes a comprehensive reporting system, trip limits, trap limits, days out, area management, seasonal quotas and harvest set-asides.

In 2004, Amendment 1 imposed restrictions on season length and on gear. Since then, knowledge of biology, population dynamics and the fishery has improved. The 2004 rules resulted in a rebuilt stock and increased fishing opportunity.

Still, landing rates in 2010 and 2011 were far greater than anticipated, which resulted in early season closures. Also, untimely reporting resulted in short notice of the season closures and an over-harvest of the total allowable catch by 14 percent in 2010 and 48 percent in 2011.

The section also plans to consider a limited entry program, with a control date of June 7, 2011. A “control date” means that new entrants to the fishery after that date may be treated differently from fishermen prior to the date.

Copies of the amendment can be obtained online at under Breaking News or by calling 703-842-0740. Public comment will be accepted until Sept. 30.