Amendment 23 to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan
NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on proposed changes to the management of the commercial black sea bass fishery. The proposed changes were developed and approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board (Board) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council).
Over the last decade, the distribution of the black sea bass stock has changed, abundance and biomass have significantly increased, and there have been corresponding changes in fishing effort and behavior. These changes prompted the Council and Board to reconsider several aspects of the commercial black sea bass management program.
Specifically, this proposed rule considers:
- Changing the formula used to calculate commercial black sea bass state allocations
- Adding the state allocations and state payback provisions to the federal FMP
- Changing to the federal in-season closure regulations for black sea bass
Because black sea bass state quotas are not currently a part of the federal FMP, the Commission has already implemented the new formula to calculate state allocations. These allocations were
effective starting January 1, 2022.