Draft Addendum XXVIII was initiated to consider alternative management approaches for the 2017 recreational summer flounder fisheries, while also seeking to address needed reductions due to a decrease in the coast-wide RHL in 2017. In August, the Board and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved a 30% reduction in the 2017 coast-wide RHL relative to 2016. This action was taken in response to the 2016 Stock Assessment Update which found fishing mortality was higher in recent years and population estimates were lower than previously projected.
After much debate, public hearings and speculation, state regulations are slowly being finalized across the region. First up, Option 5 was approved in early February by the ASMFC. Then in mid-March, regulations fell into place for Connecticut. Now both Massachusetts and Rhode Island have filed proposals which require Board approval since they offer alternate measures from those specified in Addendum XXVIII to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan.
The Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board will meet via conference call on Thursday, March 30 at 12:30 p.m. to consider approval of 2017 summer flounder recreational fishery proposals for MA and RI. Individuals interested in listening to the discussion and viewing the webinar may sign up bu visiting the ASMFC website. The meeting agenda and materials are available online.