NOAA Closes Recreational Fishery for Black Sea Bass for 180 Days Due to Overharvest

Effective Monday, October 5, 2009, NOAA Fisheries Service is closing the recreational fishery for black sea bass. The closure applies to all federal waters north of Cape Hatteras, N.C., for 180 days in response to recent landing data that showed recreational fishermen may catch more than double their annual quota by the end of the year.

Landings data and scientific analyses show recreational fishermen may exceed their 1.14 million pound harvest limit by as much as 84 to 225 percent warranting the closure. The recreational harvest in 2009 could exceed the entire total allowable catch for commercial and recreational fisheries combined if left unchecked.