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Following is Friday's column as submitted: SL9-9-19-14RISTORI FOR FRIDAY, SEPT. 19HAVE YOUR SAY ON FLUKE AT UPCOMING SCOPING HEARINGSby Al RistoriThe Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) have scheduled a series of scoping hearings to gather public input on the range of issues and information to be considered in the Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment. There will be two 6 p.m. hearings in N.J. as follows:Monday, Sept. 29 - Somers Point City Hall, 1 West New Jersey Ave.Tuesday, Sept. 30 - Belmar Municipal Court, 601 Municipal CourtThe amendment will involve a comprehensive review of all aspects of the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP) related to summer flounder. Specifically, the Council and Commission will consider whether modifications to the FMP's goals, objectives, and management strategies for summer flounder are needed. Scoping is the first and best opportunity for members of the public to raise concerns related to the scope of issues that will be considered. The public is encouraged to submit comments regarding the range of potential issues to be addressed in the amendment. The Council and Commission are particularly interested in comments on the following topics:• Fishery management plan goals and objectives• Quota allocation between the commercial and recreational fisheries• Commercial management measures and strategies• Recreational management measures and strategies• Discards in the commercial and recreational fisheries• Ecosystem, habitat, bycatch, and protected species issues• Data collection requirements and protocols The Scoping Document contains background information on summer flounder management and on issues that may be addressed in the amendment, as well as a description of the amendment process and timeline. Additional information and updates will be posted at www.mafmc.org/actions/summer-flounder-amendment. In addition to providing comments at any of the fourteen scheduled scoping hearings, you may submit written comments by 5 PM, Eastern Standard Time, on October 31, 2014. Written comments may be sent by any of the following methods: ONLINE: www.mafmc.org/comments/summer-flounder-amendment EMAIL: nmfs.gar.FlukeAmendment@noaa.gov MAIL:Chris Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director Bob Beal, Executive DirectorMid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Atlantic States Marine Fisheries CommissionNorth State Street, Suite 201 1050 North Highland Street, Suite 200A-NDover, DE 19901 Arlington, VA 22201 Please include "Summer Flounder Amendment Scoping Comments" in the subject line if using email or on the outside of the envelope if submitting written comments by mail.All comments, regardless of submission method, will be compiled into a single document for review and consideration by both the Council and Commission. Please do not send separate comments to the Council and Commission.Those who didn't make any of the ASMFC Striped Bass public hearings can submit comments until 5 p.m. Sept. 30 to Mike Waine, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator by fax at 703 842-0741 -- or by e-mail at mwaine@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Addendum IV). The Jersey Shore Boat Sale & Expo is running from today through Sunday at First Energy Park in Lakewood. Hours for this annual N.J. Marine Trades Association event are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.Pesca Panama is under new management, and my favorite winter destination in the tropics should be an even better run operation than it always has been. The winter dry season provides ideal weather with never a day of fishing lost on the Oceanmaster center consoles that fish from a comfortable barge anchored near prime fishing areas around Isla Coiba. The pelagic fishing is always changing, with big yellowfin tuna on poppers an attraction at times while last winter black marlin held the offshore spotlight. Then there's the inshore casting and jigging for cubera snappers and roosterfish -- and I also enjoy being able to fight game fish right from the barge at night. I hope to make a trip early next year, and any readers interested in going along can contact me at 732 223-5729 or by e-mailing cristori@aol.com. for details. END

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