The ASMFC Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board recently approved Addendum XXVII to the Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan.
The Addendum continues the use of regional management for the 2016 summer flounder and black sea bass recreational fisheries, with a modification to the summer flounder regions.
The modified summer flounder regions are intended to provide more equity in recreational harvest opportunities along the coast, especially between New Jersey and Delaware in the Delaware Bay.
The approved summer flounder regions are Massachusetts; Rhode Island; Connecticut through New York; New Jersey; Delaware through Virginia; and North Carolina.
For black sea bass, the Board approved the continuation of ad hoc regional management measures for the northern (Massachusetts – New Jersey) and southern regions (Delaware – North Carolina).
This approach has been used since 2011 and offers some advantages over coastwide regulations, which can disproportionately impact states within the management unit.
States in the southern region will implement measures consistent with federal regulations (current recommended federal measures are a 12.5 inch TL minimum fish size, 15 fish possession limit, and open season from May 15 – September 21 and October 22 – December 31).
Combined, the regulations of the two regions are expected to achieve the required coastwide harvest reduction in order to not exceed the 2016 recreational harvest limit.
The Board approved the ad hoc regional measures approach for the 2016 fishing year with the option of extending it through 2017 by Board action.
The Board also approved the maintenance of 2015 scup recreational measures for the 2016 fishing season.
Addendum XXVII will be available at www..asmfc.org by the end of February 2016.
source: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission