Emergency Action for Blueline Tilefish in Greater Atlantic Region Effective June 4

Today, NOAA Fisheries announced emergency management measures for the blueline tilefish fishery in the Greater Atlantic Region at the recommendation of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The measures, which go into effect Thursday, June 4 for vessels fishing north of the Virginia/North Carolina border, are:

  • Commercial possession limit of 300 pounds whole weight per trip; 
  • Recreational limit of 7 fish per person, per trip;
  • Requirement that commercial and charter/party vessels must hold a valid open access golden tilefish permits to land blueline tilefish.

This temporary rule will be in place for 6 months, and may be extended for an additional 6 months, while the Mid-Atlantic Council develops a long-term management plan for the stock.

Read the background on the rule, the permit holder letter, and the emergency rule as filed in the Federal Register.

Comments on the emergency rule must be received on or before July 6, 2015. E-Mail comments may be submitted, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0062 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments may also be submitted via regular mail to NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope "Comments on Blueline Tilefish Emergency."

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has initiated development of management measures for blueline tilefish in the Mid-Atlantic and is currently collecting scoping comments to inform the development of this action. Go to the Blueline Tilefish page to learn more and find out how to submit comments. Comments are due by July 6, 2015.