FLOUNDER, SCUP, BLACK SEA BASS AND BLUEFISH

Overview of the Issue

Summer flounder, scup, black sea bass and bluefish are prized sportfish because they are incredibly fun to catch and great to eat!

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) are jointly considering changes to the process for setting recreational management measures like bag limits, size and season.

The current process has proved to be frustrating for anglers, mainly because it only considers recreational harvest data when setting measures. The proposed alternatives consider evaluating more information like how healthy the species is to help establish measures that better match the condition of the resource. Another goal is to bring stability to the regulations so that bag, size and season limits don’t change every year.

What ASA is Doing

In December of 2021, Keep America Fishing, in support of the ASA Government Affairs team, launched a campaign to educate anglers about allocation issues related to flounder, scup and black sea bass. We launched a series of state-specific emails calling on state representatives on the ASMFC and MAFMC to use up-to-date data when determining allocations.

In March of 2022, Keep America Fishing created a guide to help explain this complex issue and launched an education/activation campaign which gave the sportfishing community three ways to help. Anglers were invited to take action on an action alert, review the guide or attend a webinar on the issue.

On June 7, 2022, the MAFMC and the ASMFC jointly approved a harvest control rule framework action that brings important changes to recreational management for some of the region’s most popular fisheries. ASA issued a press release about this development.

What You Can Do

Download the Advocacy Checklist and learn how you can get involved with the issues that affect our industry.

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For more information, contact ASA Atlantic Fisheries Policy Director Mike Waine.