The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board approved Addendum XXV to the Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan, establishing regional recreational management for both species for the 2014 fishing year.
For black sea bass, the Board approved the continuation of ad hoc regional management measures by northern (Massachusetts – New Jersey) and southern regions (Delaware – North Carolina). This approach has been used since 2011 and offers some advantages over coastwide regulations, which can disproportionately impact states within the management unit.
Specifically, regional measures address geographic differences in the stock (size, abundance and seasonality) while maintaining the consistent application of management measures by neighboring states.
States in the northern region will reduce their catch based on the region’s performance in 2013. The Technical Committee will work with the states to develop regional management measures for Board consideration and approval.
States in the southern region will implement measures consistent with federal regulations (current recommended federal measures are a 12.5 inch TL minimum fish size, 15 fish possession limit, and open season from May 19 – September 18 and October 18 – December 31).
The regulations of the two regions combined will achieve the required coastwide harvest reduction in order to not exceed the 2014 recreational harvest limit. The Board approved the ad hoc regional measures approach for the 2014 fishing year, with the option of extending it through 2015 by Board action.
Addendum XXV will be available on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission website by the end of February.
source: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission