Revised 2019 Summer Flounder Specifications

May 15, 2019

Revised 2019 specifications for the summer flounder fishery.

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NOAA Fisheries announces revised 2019 specifications for the summer flounder fishery (Table 1), based on new information provided by the 2018 benchmark stock assessment.

Table 1. Summary of Previous and Revised 2019 Summer Flounder Fishery Specifications, in millions of pounds.

  Previous Revised Difference (%)
Overfishing Limit 20.60 30.00 46
Acceptable Biological Catch 15.41 25.03 62
Commercial Annual Catch Limit (ACL) 9.18 13.53 47
Commercial Annual Catch Target (ACT)* 8.14 12.98 59
Expected Commercial Discards 1.47 2.00 36
Commercial Quota* 6.67 10.98 65
Recreational ACL 6.22 11.51 85
Recreational ACT 6.22 11.51 85
Expected Recreational Discards 1.08 3.82 254
Recreational Harvest Limit 5.15 7.69 49

*Commercial ACTs and quotas shown after a 547,000 lb accountability measure from 2017 has been applied.

This action makes no changes to the current commercial management measures, including the minimum fish size (14-inch total length), gear requirements, and possession limits. The 2019 recreational management measures for summer flounder are being developed in a separate concurrent action.

Table 2 shows the revised commercial summer flounder fishery state allocations for using the allocated percentages defined in the fishery management plan. This table incorporates state-incurred overages from 2018, and a state-to-state quota transfer in the 2019 fishing year from North Carolina to New Jersey. Delaware has an accumulated overharvest from previous years that is greater than its allocated amount of commercial quota for 2019. As a result, there is no quota available for 2019 in Delaware, and federally permitted vessels are prohibited from landing summer flounder in that state, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer.

Table 2. Revised 2019 Summer Flounder State Commercial Quotas, in pounds.

State % Share Revised 2019 Quotas* Adjustment for Overages through October 31, 2018 State Quota Transfer Final Revised 2019 Quotas
ME 0.0476 5,224 0   5,224
NH 0.0005 51 0   51
MA 6.8205 749,091 -7,559   741,532
RI 15.6830 1,722,462 0   1,722,462
CT 2.2571 247,895 0   247,895
NY 7.6470 839,869 0   839,869
NJ 16.7250 1,836,906 0 3,270 1,840,176
DE 0.0178 1,954 -55,047   -53,093
MD 2.0391 223,954 0   223,954
VA 21.3168 2,341,220 0   2,341,220
NC 27.4458 3,014,377 0 -3,270 3,011,107
Total 100.00 10,983,000 0   10,973,488

*The 2017 AM payback of 547,000 lb has already been applied to the total coastwide allocated quota.
**Total quota is the sum for all states with an allocation. A state with a negative number has a 2019 allocation of zero (0). Total final 2019 quota, less overages, does not include negative allocations (i.e., Delaware's overage).

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on May 16, 2019