The ASFMC Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board recently approved Addendum XXII to the Fishery Management Plan. The Addendum, which applies only to black sea bass, replaces coastwide recreational management measures for the second consecutive year and attempts to again mitigate potential disproportionate impacts to some Mid-Atlantic states whose landings have declined markedly in recent years.
In 2011, Addendum XXI established state-by-state measures, requiring states from Massachusetts to New Jersey, plus North Carolina to cut harvest by 37% to 43% to meet the coastwide recreational harvest target.
Addendum XXII establishes a regional management approach which allows the northern region states (Massachusetts to New Jersey) to collectively liberalize up to 57%.
The southern region states (Delaware to North Carolina) have committed to implementing measures consistent with those recommended for federal waters (the 25 fish, 12.5 inches TL minimum fish size, and an open season from May 19 to October 14 and November 1 to December 31).
Preliminary estimated harvest in 2011 was 0.99 million pounds, approximately 0.8 million pounds below the 2012 harvest target. While not required, states in the northern region will strive to implement similar recreational measures throughout that region. The regulations will be implemented for state waters only. Over the next two months, states will submit proposed recreational measures for Technical Committee review and Board approval.