Implementation of Southern Red Hake Accountability Measure

August 24, 2020

NOAA Fisheries is announcing a reduction in the southern red hake in-season possession limit for the remainder of the year due to a change in the in-season possession limit adjustment trigger. Effective August 25, 2020.

NOAA Fisheries is announcing a reduction in the southern red hake in-season possession limit from 5,000 to 400 lb per trip for the remainder of the year. This reduction in possession limit is due to a change in the in-season possession limit adjustment trigger from 90 percent of the total allowable landings (TAL) to 40.4 percent of the total allowable landings (TAL).

What is the in-season possession limit adjustment trigger?

This is the percentage of catch that triggers a reduction in the possession limit during the season. The purpose is to reduce the risk of exceeding the annual catch limit (ACL) for the stock.

Why is NOAA Fisheries reducing the in-season possession limit adjustment trigger?

We are required to reduce the trigger when the catch of a small-mesh multispecies stock exceeds the ACL. We must reduce the trigger by one percent for every percent of the catch over the ACL. In 2018, the ACL was exceeded by 49.6 percent, so we are reducing the trigger by 49.6 percent, to 40.4 percent of the TAL. 

How much is 40.4 percent of the TAL?

The 2020 TAL for southern red hake is 305 mt (672,410 lb), so 40.4 percent of the TAL is 123.2 mt (271,169 lb).

Why is the possession limit being reduced from 5,000 to 400 lbs?

Current catch reports indicate that the new in-season possession limit trigger put in place by this action has been reached. Therefore, the possession limit will be 400 lb for the remainder of the 2020 fishing year.

Are there changes to the possession limits for any other small mesh multispecies?

No, these changes are only for southern red hake.

When will the trigger go back to 90 percent?

This trigger adjustment will remain effective until the New England Fishery Management Council changes it in a future action.

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on August 24, 2020