Draft summer flounder amendment moves forward

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The draft Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment is moving forward with a much shorter set of objectives, after a joint review by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) in May.

Summer flounder are found from the US/Canada border to the southern border of North Carolina, and in both state and federal waters.

Since 1988, a Joint Fishery Management Plan (JFMP) administered by the Mid-Atlantic council and ASMFC allows for coordination of management strategies and permitting.

The draft amendment will go forward without addressing the fishery management plans’ goals and objectives, commercial and recreational quota allocation, or recreational fisheries management.

Instead, the draft amendment will include only commercial fisheries management, with separate amendments for those other issues.

The result is a focus on federal commercial permits, latent capacity, commercial allocation through quota systems, and landings flexibility.  Data collection and monitoring, discards, and a safe harbor policy were dropped, primarily because they could be addressed through ASMFC alone or through the council’s specification process.

Mid-Atlantic council staffer Kiley Dancey said that any recreational changes such as evaluating the …

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