Thursday, August 19, 2010

2011 Flounder - Scup Fishing Regulations

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) has voted to increase the 2011 commercial and recreational harvest levels of both scup and summer flounder, welcome news for a beleaguered Atlantic Coast fishing community.

Following input from the Scup Monitoring Committee, the MAFMC, which met jointly today with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) management boards, voted to increase the total allowable catch for scup (porgy) from this year's 17.09 million pounds of quota to a catch of 24.1 million pounds in 2011.  The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) had recommended an acceptable biological catch as high as 51.7 million pounds, which would've represented a near 200% increase in quota if enacted.

Council members heard various recommendations from the monitoring committee, in addition to public comment from recreational and commercial fishing interests who traveled to Philadelphia to attend today's meetings, but voted on a more precautionary 41% increase in total allowable catch for next season.  For the recreational sector, the total allowable catch of 24.1 million pounds will result in a 4.4-million-pound harvest for the year.

On the summer flounder front, the MAFMC voted to increase the total allowable catch from this season's 25.48 million pounds to an increased quota of 33.95 million pounds in the year ahead.  The new total allowable landings for 2011 represent the highest allowable catch debated by the MAFMC today.  Recreational fishermen are hopeful that this increase in quota means improved summer flounder regulations for 2011, but that still rests in the hands of the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistical Survey (MRFSS) for 2010.

source: RFA press release

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