The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council met jointly with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board last week to adopt 2014 recreational management measures for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. During the meeting, the Board approved Draft Addendum XXV for public comment. The addendum, which is intended to provide more equity in recreational harvest opportunities, includes options for regional management of summer flounder and ad-hoc regional management of black sea bass. The Council and Board’s recommendations for 2014 were based on the current management systems for both fisheries, and some recommendations were contingent on the outcome of the addendum. Click here for more information about Draft Addendum XXV on the Commission’s website.
Based on the recreational harvest limit of 7.01 million pounds, the Council and Board recommended the use of conservation equivalency for the recreational summer flounder fishery in 2014. Conservation equivalency allows individual states or voluntary regions to develop recreational measures that achieve a region- or state-specific harvest target. The combination of state- or region-specific measures would be equivalent to the Council- and Board-approved non-preferred coastwide measures of an 18-inch TL minimum fish size, a 4 fish possession limit, and a May 1 – September 30 season.
Black Sea Bass
The Council and Board recommended that the 7% coastwide reduction needed to achieve the 2014 recreational harvest limit (2.26 million lbs) be taken in both state and federal waters. If the state waters measures under Addendum XXV address the required reduction, the Council and Board recommended that federal waters measures include a 12.5-inch TL minimum size, a 15 fish possession limit, and open seasons from May 19 – September 18 and October 18 – December 31. If the addendum does not address the required reduction, then coastwide measures for both state and federal waters would be set at a 13-inch TL minimum size, a 5 fish possession limit, and a June 1-September 30 season.
Based on the associated recreational harvest of 7.03 million pounds, the Council and Board approved federal water measures including a 9-inch minimum size, a 30 fish possession limit, and open season January 1-December 31. In state waters, the Board voted to continue using a regional approach to scup management under which states may set different measures.
Additional information and background documents are available on the December 2013 Council Meeting Page.
Logo courtesy Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council