Golden tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaelonticeps) have white bellies and iridescent blue-green on the back with spots of bright yellow and gold. They are slow growing and can reach sizes of up to 3-3/4 feet, although the average size harvested is 2 feet. Tilefish typically live at depths of 250-1,500 feet where water temperatures range from 49 to 58 degrees. They are often found in and around submarine canyons where they burrow in mud or sand sediment. Some tilefish build large sand and rubble mounds, which provide habitat for other bottom-dwelling creatures and fishes.
The golden tilefish fishery is managed from Virginia through Maine, with most fishing activity occurring in Southern New England and Mid-Atlantic waters. The majority of tilefish are caught with bottom longline gear with only a small amount of tilefish being caught incidentally in otter trawl gear. There is also a small recreational component to the tilefish fishery.
The Tilefish Fishery Management Plan was initially developed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council in 2001 and has operated under an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program since the implantation of Amendment 1 in 2009. All commercial fishermen directly targeting tilefish participate in an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program. Fishermen who incidentally harvest tilefish while targeting other species may only harvest 500 lb live weight at one time without an IFQ Allocation. The stock is not overfished nor is overfishing occurring.
Actions Under Development
This action proposes management measures for blueline tilefish off the Mid-Atlantic.
Fishery Management Plan and Amendments
Fishery Performance Reports and Information Documents
Fishery Performance Reports (FPR) are developed every year by each fishery's advisory panel to provide the Council and SSC with a description of the factors that influenced fishing effort and catch within each of the Council’s fisheries. Prior to the development of the FPR, Council staff summarize the most recent catch, landings, and effort data in a Fishery Information Document. These documents for the golden tilefish fishery are listed below.
The Council is seeking public comments on a 5-year review of the golden tilefish individual fishing quota program. Comments are due by November 17, 2017.
NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comments on a proposed rule for the golden tilefish fishery that sets 2018-2020 quotas.
The Council is seeking a contractor to develop a “proof-of-concept” survey for blueline and golden tilefish. Proposal Submission Deadline: August 19, 2016.
NOAA Fisheries has announced that emergency management measures for the blueline tilefish fishery in the Greater Atlantic Region will go in to effect Thursday, June 4, 2015.
The following summary highlights Council actions and issues considered at the April 14-16, 2015 Council Meeting held in Long Branch, New Jersey.
NOAA Fisheries has published final management measures for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 tilefish fishing years. The catch limits and total allowable landings become effective at the start of the 2015 fishing year on November 1, 2014. Click here for more information.
NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on proposed measures for the tilefish fishery for the 2015-2017 fishing years.
The following summary highlights Council actions and issues considered at the Council's meeting on April 8 - 10, 2014 in Montauk, New York.
During last week's meeting in Montauk, New York, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council adopted golden tilefish management measures for the next three years.
For fishing year 2014 (November 1, 2013–October 31, 2014), the quota will remain at 1.995 million lb. The incidental trip limit will also remain unchanged from the 2013 fishing year at 458 lb.