We have published a final rule that implements the following measures:
The 2018 black sea bass catch limits are unchanged from those implemented last year but are repeated here for ease of reference.
Revised Scup Specifications
2018-2019 Scup Specifications, in millions of pounds.
Commercial Annual Catch Limit
Commercial Annual Catch Target
Recreational Annual Catch Limit
Recreational Annual Catch Target
Recreational Harvest Limit
* Preliminary, final 2019 specifications incorporating any overages will be announced in late 2018.
Scup initial commercial quota allocations for 2018 and Initial Trip Limits, in pounds.
1There were no applicable overages through 10/31/17.
2The Winter I possession limit will drop to 1,000 lb upon attainment of 80 percent of that period’s allocation. The Winter II possession limit may be adjusted (in association with a transfer of unused Winter I quota to the Winter II period) via notification in the Federal Register.
Summer Flounder Specifications
Commercial Summer Flounder Quota Adjustment
In 2016, estimated discards were higher than expected, resulting in the annual catch limit being exceeded. The commercial summer flounder accountability measure requires that the amount of the total commercial overage (i.e., discards and landings) be deducted from a subsequent year’s catch target. As such, the 2018 annual catch target is reduced by 191,218 lb. Using the projected discards for 2018, the final 2018 commercial summer flounder quota is 6,436,120 lb. The revised 2018 quota is still 13.7 percent higher than that in place for 2017.
Commercial Summer Flounder State Quotas
To account for this adjusted 2018 quota, as well as any other overages incurred by individual states, we’ve outlined updated 2018 flounder state quotas in the table below.
2018 State-By-State Commercial Summer Flounder Quotas, in pounds
FMP Percent Share
2018 Initial Quota
2018 Adjusted Quota
(2016 ACL overage deducted)
2017 Preliminary Overages1
Adjusted 2018 Quota, Less Overages2
12017 quota overage is determined through comparison of landings for January through October 2017 plus any landings in 2016 in excess of the 2016 quota that were not previously addressed in the 2017 quota specifications.
2Total quota is the sum of all states having allocation. A state with a negative number has an allocation of zero (0).
Delaware Commercial Summer Flounder Closure
The amount of overharvest from previous years is again greater than the amount of commercial quota allocated to Delaware for 2018. As a result, there is no quota available for 2018 in Delaware and the commercial fishery is closed. Effective January 1, 2018, landings of summer flounder in Delaware by vessels holding commercial Federal summer flounder permits are prohibited for the 2018 calendar year. If a quota transfer occurs and the commercial fishery in Delaware is opened, we will announce the changes in the Federal Register and notify you in another fishery bulletin.
Black Sea Bass Specifications
The current 2018 black sea bass specifications have not changed since they were approved as projected last May 2017.
2018 Black Sea Bass Specifications, in millions of pounds.
Commercial Annual Catch Limit/Annual Catch Target
Recreational Annual Catch Limit and Annual Catch Target
Recreational Fishing Measures
The management measures for the recreational summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries will be finalized through a separate rulemaking in the spring of 2018. We will notify you with another bulletin when they are complete.
Pleasant River, Maine.