The Council's Tilefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) establishes management measures for golden tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaelonticeps) and blueline tilefish (Caulolatilus microps) from Virginia through Maine.
The management unit for this FMP includes all U.S. federal waters north of the NC/VA border. Golden and blueline tilefish south of the NC/VA border are managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC).
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.
Blueline tilefish (Caulolatilus microps) are dull-olive grey fish with white undersides. They lack a fleshy structure behind their head which visually separates them from golden tilefish. Blueline tilefish have a long snout, a narrow gold stripe underlined in fluorescent blue from the snout to the tip of the eye, and a strong flat spine on their gill cover. They also have an elongated, continuous dorsal and anal fin that is roughly half the length of the body. Males tend to be larger than females and can grow up to 32 inches long and live for up to 15 years.
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’s SSC will meet March 13-14, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. Topics to be discussed include blueline and golden tilefish specifications, NEFSC clam dredge survey redesign, NEFSC State of the Ecosystem Report, and a discussion paper on coefficients of variation for estimates of the overfishing limit.
Beginning Monday, March 12, 2018, all charter and party vessel operators holding a federal permit for species managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will be required to electronically submit Vessel Trip Reports for all trips carrying passengers for hire.
NOAA Fisheries has announced a final rule to implement the Blueline Tilefish Amendment to the Council's Tilefish Fishery Management Plan. This action sets commercial and recreational management measures for the blueline tilefish fishery in the Mid-Atlantic. This rule goes into effect on December 15, 2017.
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.