Proposed Rule to Implement 2022 Recreational Management Measures for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass
NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on proposed 2022 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass recreational fishery management measures.
Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass
We propose the conservation equivalency approach for the summer flounder and black sea bass recreational fisheries. Both the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission recommended conservation equivalency, for both species, in 2022.
The proposed rule contains additional details on conservation equivalency, including what measures would be put in place if the Commission does not ultimately recommend conservation equivalency.
We are proposing a closure of the federal recreational scup fishery. This closure would apply to all recreational vessels fishing in federal waters and all federally permitted for-hire vessels fishing in either state or federal waters. Given the anticipated social and economic impacts of this closure we are seeking comments on alternative approaches that would achieve the objective of reducing scup catch and preventing overfishing while also minimizing, to the extent possible, social and economic impacts.
The reductions proposed for scup and black sea bass, and the increase for summer flounder, are based on the current regulatory requirements that we must propose recreational management measures that are expected to achieve, but not exceed the recreational harvest limits. These regulations implement the specification setting process set forth in the Mid-Atlantic Council’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan.