Today, NOAA Fisheries announces emergency management measures for the blueline tilefish fishery in the Greater Atlantic Region at the recommendation of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The purpose of this emergency action is to limit fishing mortality on unregulated blueline tilefish.
The measures, which go into effect Thursday, June 4 for vessels fishing north of the Virginia/North Carolina border, are:
Commercial possession limit of 300 pounds whole weight per trip;
Recreational limit of 7 fish per person, per trip;
Requirement that commercial and charter/party vessels must hold a valid open access golden tilefish permits to land blueline tilefish.
This temporary rule will be in place for 6 months, and may be extended for an additional 6 months, while the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic Councils develop a long-term management plan for the stock.
Read the background on the rule, the permit holder letter,and the emergency rule as filed in the Federal Register.
We are accepting comments on this rule through Monday, July 6, online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal beginning tomorrow, or via regular mail to NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope "Comments on Blueline Tilefish Emergency."
Vessels fishing for or possessing blueline tilefish south of the Virginia/North Carolina border must follow regulations in place for the Southeast Region.
Questions? Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, at 978-281-9175 or Jennifer.Goebel@noaa.gov.