Tougher Virginia Tautog Regulations Expected

The ASMFC  Tautog Management Board recently approved Addendum VI to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Tautog. With the  latest assessment indicating that  the stock continues to be overfished with overfishing occurring, the plan is expected to mean cuts in fishing along Virginia’s coast and waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

According to the 2011 stock assessment update, spawning stock biomass (SSB) has remained at low levels for the last decade, with 2009 SSB estimated at 10,553 metric tons.

Overfishing is reported to have occurred since 2005. In order to end overfishing and initiate stock rebuilding, Addendum VI lowers the F target to 0.15 and requires states to implement measures to achieve a 56% reduction in exploitation by January 1, 2012.

Addendum VI also requires states to prohibit the possession of undersized tautog in excess of bag and possession limits. The measure is intended to deter illegal harvest of tautog for the live market.

The Addendum can be obtained via the Commission’s website at under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at 703/842-0740. For more information, please contact Chris Vonderweidt at