The following announcement was published on August 1, 2014 by the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) of NOAA Fisheries:
Effective Date: August 1, 2014
On August 1, 2014, we published a notice setting that date as the new control date for participants in the commercial summer flounder fishery. The control date was set at the request of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. By establishing the control date, we are notifying the public that the Council may consider an action to limit the number of participants in the fishery in the future. The control date is intended to help the Council to identify latent effort in the summer flounder fishery.
The control date, by itself, does not affect you at this time, but the Council could use it as a reference point as it considers how to limit the number of participants in the commercial summer flounder fishery. In developing a future action, the Council may choose to use qualification criteria that do not rely on the new control date, or previous dates considered by the Council, including the January 26, 1990 control date for the summer flounder fishery. The Council may also choose to take no further action to control entry or access to the summer flounder fishery.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will this control date be used?
The Council has initiated an amendment to review the Summer Flounder Fishery Management Plan. However, the Council has yet to determine whether or how to control latent effort in the summer flounder fishery, but may choose to do so in the upcoming amendment. If and when it does, the Council could use the control date in deciding how to limit participation in the fishery.
Will this affect my limited access permit?
This control date, by itself, does not affect your permit or fishing privileges. If the Council relies on it in a future action, it may or may not affect your permit. Any future effects will depend on the measures developed by the Council and your permit’s landings history. We encourage you to participate in the development of such actions by the Council to better understand how such measures may affect you in the future.
How could it affect my limited access permit?
If the Council limits participants in the fishery, you may have to reapply for a summer flounder moratorium permit under new qualification criteria. The control date is intended to identify latent effort in the summer flounder fishery while the Council develops future measures. You need take no action at this time.
What do I need to do?
Find and keep all documents associated with your Federal summer flounder permit, including dealer slips/receipts and logbook pages from trips on which you landed summer flounder from Federal waters. The Council may use any range of fishing years in a future action, so you should preserve all summer flounder-related documents that you have.
For more information, contact the GARFO Sustainable Fisheries Division at (978) 281 – 9315.