May 16, 2019 - The following was released by NOAA Fisheries:
Today, we are announcing increases to the summer flounder catch and landings limits for the 2019 fishing year in response to new information from a benchmark stock assessment.
Final assessment results became available to managers in February 2019. The assessment included the incorporation of revised Marine Recreational Information Program estimates of recreational catch, which has an important impact on estimated spawning stock biomass for summer flounder. The assessment determined that the summer flounder stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring, enabling us to increase catch and landing limits for 2019 .
Table 1: Summary of Previous and Revised 2019 Summer Flounder Fishery Specifications, in millions of pounds.
This action also revises the previous commercial fishery accountability measures in response to the improved status of the stock. We are revising the previously implemented accountability measure for a 2017 overage from 1.04 million pounds to 547,000 pounds. With this new accountability measure applied, the commercial Annual Catch Target is reduced from 13.53 to 12.98 million pounds. Commercial state allocations for summer flounder are also revised (see bulletin for additional details).
This action does not change the current commercial management measures, including the minimum fish size (14-inch total length), gear requirements, and possession limits. The 2019 recreational management measures for summer flounder are being developed in a separate concurrent action.