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Revised Black Sea Bass 2017 and Projected 2018 Specifications

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 24, 2017

Effective Date: May 25, 2017

NOAA Fisheries announces revised 2017 and projected 2018 catch limits for black sea bass following the recent benchmark stock assessment in December 2016.

Based on the new stock assessment information, we are implementing revisions to the 2017 black sea bass specifications that represent a 53-percent increase in the 2017 commercial quota, and a 52-percent increase in the 2017 recreational harvest limit (Table 1).

We are also removing an accountability measure that was applied to the 2017 commercial fishery at the beginning of the fishing year to account for a previous overage in 2015.  If the new stock assessment had been available to set 2015 specifications, the catch limits would have been set higher and overage would not have occurred.  As a result, we have determined the accountability measure is no longer necessary and are removing it from these revised 2017 specifications.

The projected 2018 specifications are provided for planning purposes.  The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will review the projected 2018 catch limits and, should any changes be recommended, you will be notified in another bulletin in late 2017.

Table 1. Final Revised Black Sea Bass Specifications for 2017 and Projected for 2018

 

 

Black Sea Bass Specifications (million lb)

2017 (Current)

2017 (Revised)

2018 (Projected)

Overfishing Limit

n/a

12.05

10.29

ABC

6.67

10.47

8.94

Commercial ACL

3.15

5.09

4.35

Commercial ACT

3.15*

5.09

4.35

Estimated Commercial Discards

0.44

0.97

0.83

Commercial Quota

2.71*

4.12

3.52

Recreational ACL

3.52

5.38

4.59

Recreational ACT

3.52

5.38

4.59

Estimated Recreational Discards

0.70

1.09

0.93

Recreational Harvest Limit

2.82

4.29

3.66

*At the start of the fishing year, the 2017 commercial ACT and commercial quota were further reduced by accountability measures due to the perceived 2015 overage.

For small entity compliance guides, this bulletin complies with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996.  This notice is authorized by the Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Greater Atlantic Region.