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Control Date of December 14, 2015 for Blueline Tilefish Fishery

NOAA Fisheries Announces Control Date of December 14, 2015 for Blueline Tilefish Fishery

NOAA Fisheries  announces December 14, 2015 as the control date for commercial and for-hire fishermen regarding future entry into a blueline tilefish fishery managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

Background on the Blueline Tilefish Fishery:

The blueline tilefish fishery south of the Virginia/North Carolina border is managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council as part of the Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan.

The blueline tilefish fishery in the Mid-Atlantic has been unregulated and historically has had very low landings.

In 2014, new restrictions on harvest in the South Atlantic blueline tilefish fishery led to a rapid, 20-fold increase in the unregulated landings of blueline tilefish north of the Virginia/North Carolina border.

Are there currently management measures for blueline tilefish in the Mid-Atlantic?

In June 2015, we published an emergency rule to temporarily control harvest in the Mid-Atlantic, which will expire in June 2016.

What are the Council's plans for management?

The Mid-Atlantic Council plans to add new blueline tilefish management measures to the existing management plan for golden tilefish, due to similarities between the fisheries and to expedite the process.

No restrictions are being announced today. 

What is a control date?

In order to prepare management measures for blueline tilefish in the Mid-Atlantic, the Council has asked us to set a "control date" for the commercial and for-hire recreational blueline tilefish fisheries. Control dates are used to establish eligibility criteria for future access to fisheries. 

Does this control date apply to private anglers?


Can I submit comments?

Yes! Please send us comments by February 12, 2016, either by using our online comment website or by mail to:

John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator
National Marine Fisheries Service
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930 


Mark the outside of the envelope, ''Comments on Blueline Tilefish Control Date.''

More information:

Read the notice as published in the Federal Register and the Permit Holder Bulletin.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Goebel, 978-281-9174 or