The Commission’s Winter Flounder Management Board has approved Addendum III to Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for the Inshore Stocks of Winter Flounder. The Addendum establishes an annual specification process to set commercial and recreational management measures for the Gulf of Maine (GOM) and Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) fisheries. Each year, with advice from the Winter Flounder Technical Committee, the Board can adjust trip limits, size limits, and seasons for the commercial fishery; and size limits, bag limits, and seasons for the recreational fishery.
The Addendum will enable the Commission to respond more quickly to federal actions and changes in the winter flounder fishery. The Commission manages the two inshore stocks of winter flounder in the GOM and SNE/MA (0 – 3 miles from shore), while the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) manages winter flounder in offshore waters (3 – 200 miles). NEFMC establishes specifications for winter flounder stocks, including catch limits (ACL), the allocation of the ACL by sub-component (including state water set-aside), and accountability measures (AMs). These specifications are forwarded to NOAA Fisheries Northeast Region for final approval. The state water set-aside is not subject to federal accountability measures.
The Board maintained existing management measures for the 2013 fishing season for the SNE/MA stock due to its continued poor stock status and for the GOM stock because of its unknown stock status. This action is consistent with recommended technical advice on catch limits.
Addendum III will be available on the Commission website (www.asmfc.org) under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at 703.842.0740. For more information, please contact Melissa Yuen, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.