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The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is in the process of updating its next five-year Strategic Plan (2009 ? 2013) and seeks the public's comment on the first draft of the Plan. The Draft Plan affirms the Commission's long-term Vision of "healthy, self-sustaining populations for all Atlantic coast fish species or successful restoration well in progress by the year 2015," and proposes eight major goals and related strategies to pursue this Vision. The Strategic Plan will guide the Commission's activities over the next five years and will be implemented through Annual Action Plans.

Below are the eight goals proposed by the Plan:

1. Rebuild and restore depleted Atlantic coastal fisheries, and maintain and fairly allocate recovered fisheries through cooperative regulatory planning
2. Strengthen cooperative research, data collection capabilities, and the scientific basis for stock assessments and fisheries management actions
3. Improve stakeholder compliance with Commission fishery management plans
4. Work through partnerships to protect, restore, and enhance fish habitat and ecosystem health
5. Strengthen congressional, stakeholder, and public support for the Commission?s Mission, Vision, and actions
6. Represent member states collective interests at regional and national levels
7. Strengthen human resource management and enhance learning and growth within the Commission
8. Provide efficient administration of the Commission?s business affairs and ensure the Commission?s financial stability

Copies of the Draft Plan can be obtained by contacting the Commission office at (202)289-6400 or via the Commission's website at (under Breaking News). Public comment must be received by June 15, 2008, 5:00 PM EST and should be forwarded to Tina Berger, Public Affairs Specialist, at 1444 Eye Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005; (202)289-6051 (fax) or [email protected] (Subject line: Strategic Plan). The Commission is scheduled to take action on the final Plan in October at its Annual Meeting in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
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