The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission recently reported that its Tautog Stock Assessment Subcommittee has identified and corrected errors in the 2011 stock assessment update.
Originally, the assessment indicated a 53% reduction was needed to meet the Addendum VI fishing mortality target (F target) of 0.15. The revised update indicates that a coastwide reduction of 37% in exploitation is should achieve the F target.
Despite the revised data, tautog will still be listed as overfished with overfishing occurring. The Board approved Addendum VI in 2011 in response to the poor stock condition.
In order to end overfishing and initiate stock rebuilding, Addendum VI lowers the F target and requires states to implement measures to achieve this target by January 1, 2012.
According to ASFMC, the tautog’s slow growth rate, late age of maturity, and spawning site fidelity makes it particularly susceptible to overfishing.
The Tautog Management Board is expected to complete a conference call over the next few weeks to review the revised assessment results and determine the reductions needed by each state to achieve the Addendum VI.