ASMFC Black Sea Bass Board Establishes State Shares and Specifies Required Reductions for 2011 Recreational Fisheries
Arlington, VA – The Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board approved state-by-state shares for the 2011 black sea bass recreational season in order to mitigate potential disproportionate impacts to an individual state(s) that coastwide measures may cause. The 2010 regulations resulted in a preliminary estimated harvest of 2.98 million pounds, approximately 1.15 million pounds above the 2010 target. Given that the 2010 regulations were not effective in staying within the target, coastwide harvest will need to be reduced by 37% to achieve, but not exceed, the 2011 target of 1.78 million pounds.
Under state-by-state shares the following states will need to reduce harvest by the identified amount: Massachusetts (43%), Rhode Island (37%), Connecticut (37%), New York (39%), New Jersey (40%), and North Carolina (37%). Over the next two months, states will need to submit their proposed recreational measures to meet the required reduction for technical review and Board approval. The states of Delaware, Maryland, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, whose combined harvest represent less than three percent of the coastwide total, are not required to meet any harvest reductions and have committed to maintaining 2010 measures (25 fish, 12.5 inches TL minimum fish size, and an open season from May 22 to October 11 and November 1 to December 31) for the 2011 fishery.
These required reductions apply to state waters for the 2011 fishing season only. Recreational measures for the 2012 fishing season will be coastwide unless the Board decides to change that through future management action.