Scup Gear Restricted Areas Framework

Overview

This Framework Adjustment 9 to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP considered modifications to the Scup Northern and Southern Gear Restricted Areas (GRAs). This action was undertaken to optimize the effectiveness of the gear restricted areas relative to updated analyses on the impact of the GRAs on the discard mortality and survival of small scup.

A GRA is an area within which individuals are prohibited from fishing for, or possessing, non-exempt species when fishing with certain types of gear.  In November 2000, Scup Gear Restricted Areas (GRAs) were implemented in two areas in order to reduce discards of scup in the small mesh fisheries for Loligo squid, black sea bass, mackerel, and silver hake (mackerel were later exempted from the GRA regulations). Since then, discards of scup in the GRA areas have been reduced (in absolute estimate terms). The size, boundaries, and other measures of the GRAs have been modified several times in response to commercial fishing industry recommendations. This action modified the boundaries of the Southern GRAs in order to optimize its effectiveness. 

Contact

Julia Beaty, Fishery Management Specialist - (302) 526-5250, jbeaty@mafmc.org

Figure 1. Modification to the Southern Scup GRA boundary under Framework 9 (click to expand map).

Action Status

On November 8, 2016, NOAA Fisheries announced the final rule for Framework 9. This rule modifies the southern and eastern boundaries of the Southern Scup Gear Restricted Area (in effect January 1-March 15), as recommended by the Council at their April 2016 Council Meeting. The change, shown in Figure 1, is based on a proposal developed by members of the Council’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel. This modification to the Southern Scup GRA boundary is expected to increase the availability of longfin squid to small-mesh fisheries.

Documents and Resources