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

SpeciesBase YearsData TypeCommercial Allocation Percentage (%)Recreational Allocation Percentage (%)
Summer Flounder1980-1989Commercial and Recreational Landings6040
Scup1988-1992Commercial and Recreational Catch7822
Black Sea Bass1983-1992Commercial and Recreational Landings4951

Proposed Commercial and Recreational Allocations

SpeciesBase YearsData TypeCommercial Allocation Percentage (%)Recreational Allocation Percentage (%)
Summer Flounder1980-1989Commercial and Recreational Catch5545
Scup1988-1992Commercial and Recreational Catch6535
Black Sea Bass1983-1992Commercial and Recreational Catch4555

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.

Keep your finger on the fishing industry pulse

The Definititive News Source of the Fishing & Marine Industry