NMFS News Release





Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930




1996 Summer Flounder Closure

Date: December 20, 1996

Dear Summer Flounder Dealer:

This letter serves as an important notice to advise you that (1) the summer flounder commercial quota available to the State of Maryland for the calendar year 1996 has been harvested, and (2) effective December 27, 1996, the EEZ is closed to fishing for summer flounder.

Federally permitted summer flounder vessels are hereby advised that they may not land summer flounder in Maryland, and dealers are hereby advised that they may not purchase summer flounder from Federally permitted vessels that land in Maryland, for the remainder of the calendar year. Additionally, commercial vessels are advised that they may not harvest or otherwise possess summer flounder in the EEZ for the remainder of the 1996 calendar year. This prohibition is effective at 0001 hours, December 27, 1996.

Section 648.101(a) of the regulations governing the summer flounder fishery requires me to close the EEZ to fishing for summer flounder by commercial vessels for the remainder of the calendar year if the commercial fisheries in all states have been closed. It has been determined that the summer flounder quota available for the State of Maryland will be harvested on December 26, 1996. Since the harvest of Maryland's quota results in all states being closed to landings, and pursuant to the regulations, a notice has been published in the Federal Register announcing that further landings in Maryland by Federally permitted vessels are prohibited for the remainder of the calendar year, and that the summer flounder fishery in the EEZ will be closed to the harvest or possession of summer flounder by commercial vessels. The commercial summer flounder fishery in the EEZ will reopen to the harvest or possession of summer flounder on January 01, 1997.



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