DNREC will cohost with Maryland DNR a virtual joint Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) hearing to get public comment on the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment on Wednesday, February 24 from 6 to 8 PM. You can find information on the draft amendment, connecting to the hearing, and commenting at https://www.mafmc.org/newsfeed/2021/sfsbsb-allocation-am-hearings
The Council and Commission are developing this joint amendment to consider adjusting the allocations of catch or landings between the commercial and recreational fisheries for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The commercial and recreational allocations for all three species are currently based on historical proportions of landings (for summer flounder and black sea bass) or catch (for scup) from each sector. Recent changes in how recreational catch is estimated have resulted in a discrepancy between the current levels of estimated recreational harvest and the allocations of summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass to the recreational sector. Some changes have also been made to commercial catch data since the allocations were established. This amendment considers whether modifications to the allocations are needed in light of these and other changes in the fisheries. The amendment also considers options that would allow a portion of the allowable landings to be transferred between the commercial and recreational sectors each year, in either direction, based on the needs of each sector. The comment period is open until March 16, 2021. For more information, contact the DNREC Fisheries Section at (302)739-9914.