NOAA adjusts yellowtail flounder quotas

18 Jul 2012
The yellowtail flounder Photo: NOAA

The yellowtail flounder Photo: NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced it will adjust the 2012 Georges Bank yellowtail flounder quota to protect the commercial scallop and groundfish fishery industries.

The groundfish fishery quota will increase by 69% to just over 811,301 pounds, whilst the scallop quota will decrease by 49% or around 346,126 pounds. This means that in effect around 332,016 pounds of the yellowtail flounder quota will pass from the scallop industry to the groundfish industry.

NOAA says that the revised allocation will provide enough yellowtail flounder to account for what is typically harvested by scallop fishermen in a year.

Samuel Rauch, deputy assistant, NOAA administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service, said: “The scallop and groundfish industries and NOAA’s Fisheries Service have worked together to find an effective solution to a very difficult situation.”

The move comes from a recommendation by the New England Fishery Management Council, with input from a working group with representatives from both industries, the Council and NOAA.

The Council has also requested that NOAA remove accountability measures for the scallop fishery, which would close certain fishing areas in 2013 if the scallop fishery catches more than its 2012 yellowtail flounder quota. However, these measures will remain in place to protect stock and prevent overfishing if the overall US yellowtail flounder quota is exceeded during 2012.

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