Flounder and striped bass stocks assessed

Stock levels of striped bass and summer flounder have been assessed Photo: NOAA Stock levels of striped bass and summer flounder have been assessed Photo: NOAA
Industry Database

New stock assessments of summer flounder and Atlantic striped bass are ready for use by fishery managers and show that whilst summer flounder is overfished, stock levels of striped bass are healthy.

The 'benchmark' assessments - a thorough, peer-reviewed form of appraisal – apply to summer flounder in Atlantic waters from North Carolina to the US/Canada border and striped bass found in coastal and most estuarine waters from Maine through to North Carolina.

Summer flounder

The summer flounder stock assessment process was completed by scientists from NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, state agencies, the fishing industry, and academia. It was presented to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Science and Statistical Committee in February.

The assessment used data from myriad sources such as state and federal surveys together with input from the commercial fishing industry and fishermen. Estimates of recreational catch were increased which in turn increased estimates of the numbers of fish in the stock.

Another new element was the evaluation of several sex-specific models, attempting to account for size differences between males and females.

Atlantic striped bass

The Atlantic striped bass assessment was led by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Management Commission and involved a number of state, federal, and academic researchers. New estimates of recreational catch were included in the assessment which resulted in higher estimates of biomass and new young fish entering the population in comparison to the last assessment (2016), but did not change the overall population trend, which has been declining since 2003.

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