Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Framework Framework on Conservation Equivalency, Block Island Sound Transit, and Slot Limits


The Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) jointly manage summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. 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:

  1. Conservation equivalency for the recreational black sea bass fishery,

  2. Conservation equivalency rollover for summer flounder

  3. Transit provisions for Block Island Sound for recreational and/or commercial fisheries for all three species, and

  4. Slot limits for recreational fisheries for all three species


  • Julia Beaty, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, (302)526-5250,

  • Caitlin Starks, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, (703)842-0740,

Action Status

December 2018: The Council and Board selected preferred alternatives. They agreed to allow use of conservation equivalency in the recreational black sea bass fishery in future years. They also recommended that non-federally permitted recreational and commercial vessels be allowed to transit federal waters in Block Island Sound while in possession of summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass legally harvested from state waters. They recommended that such transit be allowed in the same area as the existing striped bass transit zone. Lastly, the Council agreed to allow a maximum size limit to be used in the recreational fisheries for summer flounder and black sea bass in future years. This will allow for the use of regular slot limits, split slot limits, and trophy fish. It is important to emphasize that decisions regarding black sea bass conservation equivalency and slot limits provide additional “tools in the toolbox” and do not implement these measures for any particular fishing year. If approved by NOAA Fisheries, these changes are expected to be in place in late in 2019.

August 2018: The Council and Board approved a range of alternatives during their joint meeting in August 2018. Several states are holding public hearings on the Commission’s addendum (addendum XXXI) in November 2018. More information is available at: The Council and Board are scheduled to take final action at their joint meeting in December 2018.



Listed in reverse chronological order