2.4 Status of the Stock
2.4.1 Summer Flounder
The most recent peer-reviewed benchmark assessment for summer flounder was
conducted by the July 2013 Stock Assessment Workshop/Stock Assessment Review
Committee. The assessment utilizes an age-structured assessment model called ASAP.
Results of the benchmark assessment indicate that the summer flounder stock was not
overfished and overfishing was not occurring in 2012 relative to the biological reference
points. The fishing mortality rate has been below 1.0 since 1997 and was estimated to be
0.285 in 2012, below the threshold fishing mortality reference point FMSY = 0.309.
Spawning stock biomass (SSB) was estimated to be 113 million pounds (51,238 mt) in
2012, about 82% of SSBMSY = 137.555 million pounds (62,394 mt). NOAA Fisheries
declared the summer flounder stock rebuilt in 2010, based on the 2011 assessment
Yet we are cutting the limits for recreational fishermen why?
Lower mortality rate below the threshold, and a "officially" declared rebuilt stock in 2010 onward.
From what I've been reading around the web it sounds like they are driving to that 4 fish at 18" option Palawman20 mentioned, which is starting to reach the point of exactly what he said...is it even worth going on trips for a partial (now half) old limit. 1/2 day boats may prosper with the lesser cost, but as a fisherman...I feel like every year we just keep going backwards.
Or perhaps this is their traditional "scare" option to make fishermen feel like they're losing ground and then they'll push out a 5 fish at 18" in 2014 from 5 fish at 17.5" in 2013 to make us feel like we "got something back" even though we're still losing ground. Seems like every year they come out with ridiculous options that throw fishermen into a panic and then they throttle them back, but they are still less opportunity than the previous year.