Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass
- Advisory Panel
- Fishery Management Plan and Amendments
- NOAA FishWatch: Summer Flounder
- NOAA FishWatch: Scup
- NOAA FishWatch: Black Sea Bass
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council manages summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass under a single fishery management plan (FMP). The management unit for summer flounder extends from the U.S.-Canadian border to the southern border of North Carolina, while the management units for scup and black sea bass extend from the U.S.- Canadian border to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Because of their presence in, and movement between, state waters (0-3 miles) and federal waters (3-200 miles), the Council manages summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass cooperatively with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The two management entities work in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as the federal implementation and enforcement entity.
For more information about management of these species in state waters, visit the following pages on the ASMFC website:
The Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP uses output controls (catch and landings limits) as the primary management tool, with landings divided between the commercial and recreational fisheries. The FMP also includes minimum fish sizes, bag limits, seasons, gear restrictions, permit requirements, and other provisions to prevent overfishing and ensure sustainability of the fisheries. Recreational bag/size limits and seasons are determined on a state-by-state basis using conservation equivalency. The commercial quota is divided into state-by-state quotas based on historical landings.
Actions Under Development
The Council and the ASMFC are developing a joint framework action and addendum to consider adding the following management options to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan:
The Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission are considering a joint management action which would modify the dates of the commercial scup quota periods, while leaving all other management measures unchanged, including the possession limits for each quota period and allocations of quota among the periods.
The Council, in response to a 2015 petition from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, is considering the designation of 13 artificial reef sites as Special Management Zones (SMZs) in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off of New Jersey.
This amendment will involve a comprehensive review and update of the FMP’s goals and objectives and will consider changes to summer flounder management in both state and federal waters.
Fishery Management Plan and Amendments
Fishery Performance Reports
Fishery Information Documents
The comment period is open through January 23, 2018.
The Northeast Fisheries Science Center is currently seeking stock assessment workshop (SAW) working group applicants for the benchmark summer flounder stock assessment. Applications are due August 3.
The Council is seeking a contractor to evaluate the feasibility of developing a fishing mortality (F) based management approach for the recreational summer flounder fishery. Proposals are due by June 19, 2017.
The Council has initiated a framework action to review and modify accountability measures (AMs) for the commercial black sea bass fishery in response to new information indicating that commercial catch in 2015 exceeded the annual catch limit due to higher than anticipated discards.
On November 8, 2016, NOAA Fisheries announced a change to the southern and eastern boundaries of the Southern Scup Gear Restricted Area (in effect January 1-March 15), as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. This rule is intended to increase access to traditional squid fishing areas, while maintaining protection for juvenile scup.
NOAA Fisheries proposes modifications to the Southern Scup Gear Restricted Area, as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
Virginia Beach, VA – Last week the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) reviewed previously implemented specifications for scup, black sea bass and bluefish fisheries and modified specifications for summer flounder.