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Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund, a non-profit, grassroots organization is funding a new study by Cornell researchers on Mid-Atlantic Summer Flounder.
By Chris Lido  |  October 23, 2014
Tags: fisheries management

Sex-specific modelling is to be Conducted on Mid-Atlantic Summer Flounder by Researchers at Cornell University. Dr. Patrick Sullivan of Cornell University in cooperation with scientists at the National Marine Fisheries Service and through funding provided by the Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund and SCeMFiS, the Science Center for Marine Fisheries, in association with the University of Southern Mississippi, will be developing a sex-specific population assessment model to be applied to summer flounder stocks off the U.S. Atlantic coast. Summer flounder, popularly known as fluke, are an important component of both recreational and commercial fisheries in the northeastern United States. Summer flounder are flatfish that are found in the Western Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Florida. Males and females of the species grow to different sizes and at different rates resulting in catches that can differ between sexes. It is believed that an assessment model which takes into account these sex-specific differences will improve the estimates of population size for this stock and aid in fisheries management, which often relies on size-specific gear, area and timing restrictions to promote sustainable harvests. Initial funding for the project will focus on developing several alternative models for consideration by the end of 2015.

Dr. Sullivan is an Associate Professor of Population and Community Dynamics in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. He has an M.S. in Fisheries Biology and a Ph.D. in Biomathematics and Biostatistics from the University of Washington. He research focusses primarily on assessment and management of marine and freshwater fisheries resources. He has chaired or co-chaired three National Academy of Sciences fisheries science program reviews and is a member of the Scientific and Statistical Committee that advises the New England Fisheries Management Council. Before joining the faculty at Cornell in 1998 he was a population dynamicist for the International Pacific Halibut Commission in Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Sullivan will be working with recreational and commercial industry cooperators and fisheries scientists from Rutgers University, in New Jersey, to identify and assemble information relevant to the development of this project. This project is relatively unique in that it represents a joint venture between industry stakeholders and government scientists and managers to identify best scientific practices for sustainable management of the valuable summer flounder resource.