Proposed Rule to Implement New Commercial and Recreational Allocations for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass

Home Fisheries Proposed Rule to Implement New Commercial and Recreational Allocations for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass
Proposed Rule to Implement New Commercial and Recreational Allocations for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass

NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on proposed changes to the commercial and recreational allocations for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The proposed changes were developed and approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board (Board) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council).

The current commercial and recreational allocations for all three species were set in the mid-1990s based on historical proportions of landings (for summer flounder and black sea bass) or catch (for scup) from each sector. The Council and Board developed this amendment partly in response to recent changes in how recreational catch is estimated by the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), which resulted in a revised time series of recreational data going back to the 1980s. The revision created a mismatch between the data that were used to set the allocations and the data currently used in management for setting catch limits. In addition, some changes have been made to commercial catch data since the allocations were established.

For all three species, these changes result in a shift in allocation from the commercial to the recreational sector.  However, because the summer flounder and black sea bass fisheries will be transitioning from landings-based to catch-based allocations, the current and revised allocations for those species are not directly comparable.

Current Commercial and Recreational Allocations

Species Base Years Data Type Commercial Allocation Percentage (%) Recreational Allocation Percentage (%)
Summer Flounder 1980-1989 Commercial and Recreational Landings 60 40
Scup 1988-1992 Commercial and Recreational Catch 78 22
Black Sea Bass 1983-1992 Commercial and Recreational Landings 49 51

Proposed Commercial and Recreational Allocations

Species Base Years Data Type Commercial Allocation Percentage (%) Recreational Allocation Percentage (%)
Summer Flounder 1980-1989 Commercial and Recreational Catch 55 45
Scup 1988-1992 Commercial and Recreational Catch 65 35
Black Sea Bass 1983-1992 Commercial and Recreational Catch 45 55

Read the proposed rule as published in the Federal Register today.  Submit your comments through the e-rulemaking portal. The comment period is open through September 12, 2022.

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