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NOAA Fisheries Sets 2018-2020 Catch Limits for Groundfish Stocks and Announces Other Management Measures for the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan

April 30, 2018

Through Framework 57, we have set catch limits for 20 groundfish stocks for the 2018-2020 fishing years (May 1, 2018-April 30, 2020), including the 3 stocks managed jointly with Canada.

Framework 57 increases quotas for 11 stocks compared to 2017, including: Georges Bank cod (139%), Gulf of Maine cod (41%), and Gulf of Maine haddock (190%). Quotas are decreasing for nine stocks, including Southern New England yellowtail flounder (-75%) and Gulf of Maine winter flounder (-45%).

We expect increases in the quotas for Gulf of Maine cod, Gulf of Maine haddock, and Georges Bank cod to provide additional economic revenue and flexibility to the commercial groundfish industry. Overall, we expect the measures in Framework 57 to generate $9 million in additional gross revenues this fishing year compared to last year.

Framework 57 also:

  • Revises the way common pool quotas are split between trimesters for six stocks.
  • Modifies the Atlantic halibut accountability measures.
  • Changes the trigger for the scallop fishery’s accountability measure for the Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic yellowtail flounder stock to when total catch exceeds the overall catch limit.
  • Revises the southern windowpane flounder accountability measure for the summer flounder, scup, and skate fisheries.
  • Sets a Georges Bank cod catch target of 138 mt for the recreational fishery and grants the Regional Administrator authority to set recreational measures for 2018 and 2019 to prevent the catch target from being exceeded. A separate rule implements new Georges Bank cod recreational measures.

Read the final rule as filed in the Federal Register and the permit holder bulletin on our website. 


Fishermen, please contact Mark Grant, Regional Office, at 978-281-9145

Media, please contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, at 978-281-9175