MAFMC and ASMFC to Hold Scoping Hearings for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment

MAFMC and ASMFC to Hold Scoping Hearings for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) have scheduled a series of scoping hearings to gather public input on the range of issues and information to be considered in the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment. Hearings will be held February 13 – March 3. Written comments will be accepted through March 17, 2020. All comments provided at public hearings or in writing will be presented to the Council and Commission. 

This amendment will consider potential modifications to the allocations of catch or landings between the commercial and recreational sectors for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The 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. In July 2018, the Marine Recreational Information Program released revisions to its time series of catch (harvest and discards) estimates. These revisions resulted in much higher recreational catch estimates compared to previous estimates, affecting the entire time series of data going back to 1981. Some changes have also been made to commercial catch data since the allocations were established. The current commercial and recreational allocation percentages for all three species do not reflect the current understanding of the recent and historic proportions of catch and landings from the two sectors. This amendment will consider whether changes to these allocations are warranted.

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Hearing Schedule, MAFMC and ASMFC to Hold Scoping Hearings for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass
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Scoping is the first and best opportunity to raise concerns related to the scope of issues that will be considered. You are encouraged to submit comments on which options may or may not be useful or practical for meeting the goal of this action and any other relevant issues the Council and Commission should consider.

Learn More …
The Scoping and Public Information Document contains background information on summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass management and on issues that may be addressed in the amendment, as well as a description of the amendment process and timeline. This document, along with additional information and updates on development of this amendment, is available on the Council’s website at 
http://www.mafmc.org/actions/sfsbsb-allocation-amendment

Contacts ..

Julia Beaty, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, jbeaty@mafmc.org, 302-526-5250Dustin Colson Leaning, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, dleaning@asmfc.org,
703-842-0740

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