Final Action on Summer Flounder Commercial Issues Amendment Postponed Until February 2019

During a joint meeting last week in Annapolis, Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board (Board) voted to postpone final action on the Summer Flounder Commercial Issues Amendment until their next joint meeting in February 2019.

The amendment considers several potential changes to the management of the commercial summer flounder fishery and proposes modifications to the fishery management plan goals and objectives for summer flounder.

Discussion during the meeting focused predominantly on options in the amendment that could modify allocations of the commercial summer flounder quota to the states. The current commercial allocations were last modified in 1993 and are perceived by some as outdated given their basis in 1980-1989 landings data. The amendment proposes three sets of alternatives for modifying the current state-by-state allocations. After reviewing public comments on these options, the administrative Commissioner from New York introduced a motion that would have allowed states to submit additional commercial quota allocation options for discussion in February 2019. While some Council and Board members offered support for the motion, others felt that it was too late in the process to introduce new alternatives and that the existing options adequately address the purpose of the amendment. After a lengthy discussion, the motion was defeated due to lack of majority from the Council.

Given the limited time available to discuss the remaining issues addressed in the amendment, the Council and Board voted to postpone final action until their next joint meeting, to be held February 11-14, 2019 in Virginia Beach, VA. Additional information about this action is available at:

Questions? Contact Kiley Dancy, Fishery Management Specialist,, (302) 526-5257.

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