NOAA Fisheries is considering cutting the 2017 summer flounder quotas by up to 40%. While all anglers support conservation, this decision seems rushed and unnecessary.
The summer flounder fishery employs over 10,000 people and generates over $1 billion in revenue. A forty percent reduction would be devastating to local economies.
The last benchmark stock assessment was in 2013. A desperately needed update, including findings from Cornell University, is in the works. Given this new information will provide a more accurate indication of the true health of the fishery, NOAA Fisheries should delay such a drastic and potentially catastrophic reduction until the new stock assessment is complete.