Get Email Updates

Get Text Alerts

Sign up for recreational and commercial text alerts

NOAA Fisheries Announces Transfer of Yellowtail Flounder Quota from Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery to Groundfish Fishery

March 13, 2017

NOAA Fisheries is transferring unused Georges Bank and Southern New England/Mid Atlantic yellowtail flounder bycatch from the Atlantic sea scallop fishery to the commercial groundfish fishery for use until the end of the groundfish fishing year, April 30, 2017.

Each year, we evaluate the yellowtail flounder bycatch in the scallop fishery by January 15. When the scallop fishery is expected to catch less than 90 percent of its Georges Bank or Southern New England/Mid Atlantic yellowtail flounder sub-annual catch limit (sub-ACL) by the end of the scallop fishing year (February 28, 2017), we reduce the scallop fishery sub-ACL for these stocks to the amount projected to be caught, and increase the groundfish fishery sub-ACL for these stocks up to the amount reduced from the scallop fishery.

This adjustment helps provide additional fishing opportunities on Georges Bank and Southern New England/Mid Atlantic yellowtail flounder stocks, while not threatening an overage of the annual catch limits.

Based on the current projections, we are transferring 39.8 mt of Georges Bank yellowtail flounder and 15.2 mt of Southern New England/Mid Atlantic yellowtail flounder from the scallop fishery to the groundfish fishery. 

This transfer is based on the highest estimate of total scallop bycatch to account for uncertainty, and we expect this will minimize any risk of ACL overages.

For more information, read the rule as filed today in the Federal Register.

Questions? Contact Emily Keiley at or 978-281-9116.