Final 2021 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications

December 18, 2020

Effective January 1, 2021

NOAA Fisheries is implementing final 2021 specifications for the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries.

NOAA Fisheries is implementing the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s recommended 2021 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass specifications (Table 1). The final 2021 catch limits for all three stocks are increasing relative to previously approved 2021 quotas because the Council revised its risk policy, which defines the acceptable risk of overfishing. The revised catch limits still minimize the chance of overfishing, while providing more opportunities for fishermen. No additional changes to the federal commercial management measures were made.

Table 1: Summary of the Final 2021 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications, in millions of pounds.

2021 Specifications

Summer Flounder

Scup

Black Sea Bass

Overfishing Limit (OFL)

31.67

35.30

17.68

Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC)

27.11

34.81

17.45

Commercial Annual Catch Limit (ACL)

14.63

27.15

9.52

Commercial Annual Catch Target (ACT)

14.63

27.15

9.52

Commercial Quota

12.49

20.50

6.09

Recreational ACL

12.48

7.66

7.93

Recreational ACT

12.48

7.66

7.93

Recreational Harvest Limit

8.32

6.07

6.34

 

This rule also announces the final 2021 summer flounder commercial state quotas, which include any necessary deductions for overages that occurred in 2019 (Table 2). The final state quotas use the new allocation method approved through Amendment 21 to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan.

Table 2: Final 2021 Summer Flounder Commercial State Quotas

State

Baseline Share (%)

Additional share above 9.55 million lb (%)

 

Initial Allocation

(lb)

Preliminary 2020

Overage (lb)

Final Allocation

(lb)

Maine

0.04756

0.333

14,342

 

14,332

New Hampshire

0.00046

0.333

9,844

 

9,834

Massachusetts

6.82046

12.375

1,015,179

 

1,015,179

Rhode Island

15.68298

12.375

1,861,550

 

1,861,550

Connecticut

2.25708

12.375

579,376

 

579,376

New York

7.64699

12.375

1,094,113

 

1,094,113

New Jersey

16.72499

12.375

1,961,062

 

1,961,062

Delaware

0.01779

0.333

11,499

-52,307

-40,818

Maryland

2.0391

12.375

558,559

 

558,559

Virginia

21.31676

12.375

2,399,576

 

2,399,576

North Carolina

27.44584

12.375

2,984,903

 

2,984,903

 

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on December 18, 2020