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NOAA Fisheries Announces Transfer of Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Yellowtail Flounder Quota from Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery to Groundfish Fishery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 21, 2018

Effective immediately, NOAA Fisheries is transferring unused quota of Southern New England/Mid Atlantic yellowtail flounder from the Atlantic sea scallop fishery to the commercial groundfish fishery.

Each year, we evaluate the yellowtail flounder bycatch in the scallop fishery by January 15 and whether the scallop fishery is expected to catch less than 90 percent of its Georges Bank or Southern New England/Mid Atlantic yellowtail flounder quota. If so, we may reduce the scallop fishery quota for these stocks to the amount projected to be caught, and increase the groundfish fishery quota for these stocks up to the amount reduced from the scallop fishery. This adjustment helps achieve optimum yield for both fisheries, while not threatening an overage of the annual catch limits.

Based on the current projections, the scallop fishery is expected to catch 12 percent of its allocation of Southern New England/Mid Atlantic yellowtail flounder quota. We are therefore transferring 30 mt of Southern New England/Mid Atlantic yellowtail flounder from the scallop fishery to the groundfish fishery.

The scallop fishery is projected to catch its entire Georges Bank yellowtail flounder quota, and there is no quota available to transfer to the groundfish fishery.

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

Questions? Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, 978-281-9175.