The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries recently listed black sea bass as “Recovering” in its 2012 Stock Status Report. The report upgrades the black sea bass stock south of Cape Hatteras from “Depleted” in 2011 and the stock north of Cape Hatteras from “Concern” in 2011.
The black sea bass stock south of Cape Hatteras has been under a federally managed rebuilding plan since 2006. A 2011 federal stock assessment found the stock is not overfished but has not yet met the rebuilding target.
The black sea bass stock north of Cape Hatteras, continues to show signs that the stock is improving. A 2010 National Marine Fisheries Service’s updated stock assessment found that the stock is considered rebuilt. However, uncertainty in the stock status has resulted in conservative management of this stock.
DMF annually grades the status of marine finfish, shellfish, shrimp and crabs as either “Viable,” “Recovering,” “Concern,” “Depleted” or “Unknown.” The grades serve as a barometer of the overall health of the state’s fishery resources, and they are used to prioritize development of fishery management plans.
A complete list of the 2012 Stock Status Report can be found on the division’s website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/2012-stock-status-report
source: North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries