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.
Julia Beaty, Fishery Management Specialist - (302) 526-5250, firstname.lastname@example.org
A final rule for this action was published on November 9, 2016. 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
- Final Rule, 11/9/2016
- Permit holder bulletin (contains new GRA coordinates)
- Final Framework 9 Document
- News Release: NOAA Fisheries Announces Proposed Rule to Modify Scup Gear Restricted Areas
- Press Release: Council Approves Changes to Scup Gear-Restricted Areas, April 2016
- February 2016 Meeting Materials - Framework Meeting 2
- December 2015 Meeting - Framework Meeting 1
- Commercial fishery scup discarding and the Gear Restricted Areas (GRAs) - Terceiro and Miller, NEFSC Population Dynamics Branch