Tag Archives: summer-flounder

Trump Administration Dives Into Fish Fight

An unprecedented Trump administration decision over the summer that overruled an interstate fishing commission has drawn the ire of critics who worry that keeping a healthy and viable supply of flounder in the Atlantic Ocean is being sacrificed to commercial profits. While the fight over fish largely has been out of the public eye, it has implications for Maryland and other coastal states. In July, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross overruled a recommendation by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission finding New Jersey out of compliance with proposed 2017 harvest limits of summer flounder along the Atlantic coast. click here to read the story 15:28

Floundering with the Fishcrats

Right now just three miles from Long Island’s beaches boats are dragging fluke, or “summer flounder”, as is their official title. These boats are from several regional states, among them New York. Most are fishing under Southern state “flags”, as it were, as these states have the biggest quota shares and therefore the biggest daily limits. Each boat will have to steam to a port in the state of the landing permit it is working under to off load and sell the catch. This fishing here has been going on this way for many decades, but it hasn’t been until recent years that boats had to sail the flatfish hundreds of miles to sell them.  Bringing them within New York’s boundaries constitutes a serious violation of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Law, with potential felony convictions with huge fines, loss of license and vessel, and jail time. click here to read the story 09:02

2017 Sweep Efficiency Study Targets Summer Flounder – Cooperative research program effort reveals a few surprises

Testing the efficiency of different sweep types on fishing nets was the focus of twin trawling operations August 18-28 aboard the F/V Karen Elizabeth from Point Judith, RI.  Chris Roebuck and his four-person crew aboard the 78-foot western-rigged stern trawler Karen Elizabeth conducted this year’s study with five staff members from the NEFSC’s Northeast Cooperative Research Program and the Fisheries Ecology and Oceans and Climate branches. The team targeted summer flounder in Southern New England from Montauk, Long Island to Nantucket and red hake in the western Gulf of Maine off Cape Ann, making a total of 103 good tows and collecting over 73,000 fish from species targeted by the study.   click here to read the story 11:41

Trump official’s flounder ruling clouds Atlantic coast fish conservation

No one considers summer flounder an iconic Bay species. But fishery managers and conservationists say the ripple effect of a controversial Trump administration decision to let more “fluke” be caught in New Jersey may impact how important species such as striped bass and menhaden are managed in the Chesapeake. In the wake of an unprecedented decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce, some in Maryland are already calling on fishery managers to challenge how coastwide fishing restrictions are implemented in the Bay. The concern stems from a July ruling by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that allowed New Jersey to reject harvest limits accepted by all other East Coast fishery managers, which were aimed at stemming a seven-year decline in the summer flounder population. In recent decades, states had appealed similar harvest cutbacks ordered by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 22 times. Never before had the commerce secretary overturned a decision by the interstate panel. click here to read the story 08:47

Warming oceans: fish on the move

The oceans are getting warmer, and fish are adapting to rising ocean temperatures with their fins and swimming to waters that better suit their temperature preferences. Shifts in the distribution of important coastal fish species are resulting in changes to historical fishing options, new fishing opportunities and new fisheries management challenges.,, These northern shifts in fish populations have presented fisheries management challenges. Coastwide or regional Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) are used to manage all of these species, but these FMPs have not always kept up with the changing distribution of these species. Take summer flounder and black sea bass as examples. click here to read the story 10:51

Jim Lovgren – Fishery managers responsible for Summer Flounder mismanagement

Earlier this year the state of New Jersey was found to be out of compliance by the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission [ASMFC] in regard to the proposed recreational catch specifications for Summer Flounder, [fluke].The ASMFC which jointly manages summer flounder with the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council, [MAFMC] had recommended an increase in the recreational size limit for Summer Flounder to 19 inches for New Jersey. New Jersey fishery management representatives balked at that proposal and instead presented an alternative proposal that would keep the size limit at the present 18 inches but with a shorter season which would still meet the conservation goals as the Commission’s plan. The Commission denied this alternative and declared New Jersey out of Compliance, an action that would result in the shutdown of the Summer Flounder fishery, both recreational and commercial sometime later this summer. Unfairly this shutdown would have occurred after the recreational season was over, and would only impact New Jersey’s commercial fishermen, who are already struggling with a 50% cut back in the quota over the last two years click here to read the story 11:32

Trump administration steps in on fishing limits, and the implications could ripple

“The commission is deeply concerned about the near-term impact on our ability to end overfishing on the summer flounder stock as well as the longer-term ability for the commission to effectively conserve numerous other Atlantic coastal shared resources,” Douglas Grout, the commission’s chair, said in a statement. “New Jersey makes a compelling argument that the measures it implemented this year, despite increasing catch above the harvest target, will likely reduce total summer flounder mortality in New Jersey waters to a level consistent with the overall conservation objective,” Chris Oliver, assistant administrator of fisheries at NOAA, wrote the commission in a letter on behalf of Ross. The move infuriated commissioners and fishing officials throughout the area, as well as the region’s NOAA officials. “Ross was brilliant in his decision,” said Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance in New Jersey, which represents thousands of recreational fishermen across the country. “The Trump administration has challenged a broken fishery management system in this country, and I applaud them for doing it.” click here to read the story 10:10

Garden State officials make their case to feds as fluke battle rages on

With New Jersey’s summer flounder fishing industry on the line, Garden State officials made their case to fisheries on Tuesday afternoon. In a hearing with the federal agency, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection officials argued that the state’s regulations for summer flounder (or fluke) fishing reach conservation equivalency with new federal regulations. The cornerstone of New Jersey’s argument: That the state’s proposed regulations will actually preserve more of the summer flounder stock than the measures being put forth by the feds. Tuesday’s call was closed to the press, but in a statement following the call NJDEP spokesperson Bob Considine described it as a “good discussion.” click here to read the story 08:37

New Jersey continues to fight summer flounder cuts

New Jersey’s fight against approved summer flounder measures hangs in the balance, and a meeting next month could prove critical for flounder fishermen. The state’s Marine Fisheries Council met Thursday evening at the Galloway Township branch of the Atlantic County Library in part to discuss its strategy in opposing a federal regulatory commission’s decision to cut this year’s summer flounder catch by 30 percent. “I’m getting questions every day,” said Dick Herb, the council’s chairman. “We just don’t know what’s going to happen there.” There’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes,” he added. Earlier this year, the state council voted to go out of compliance with the federal measures, which could trigger a pivotal decision by new Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross following a federal regulatory meeting in May, Herb said. click here to read the story 09:54

NJ asks feds to drop limits on summer flounder

With their rows of sharp buck teeth, their downturned mouths, and both eyes on one side of their curiously flat bodies, summer flounder might seem beautiful only to one another. But this delicately flavored flatfish is the pinup girl, the heart’s desire, of thousands of New Jersey’s recreational fishermen — and has long been the source of many millions of dollars in tourism revenue each summer. For that reason the state has petitioned a federal commission to reverse its new restrictions on catching summer flounder in state waters in 2017. click to continue reading the story 07:06

Measuring flounder a complex undertaking with a big impact

It’s likely few people have written more about summer flounder than Mark Terceiro. Terceiro has published a 44-page journal article about the science, politics and litigation surrounding the species from 1975 to 2000. A 32-page follow-up covered the period from 2001 to 2010, and another article regarding developments in recent years is in the works. But it’s Terceiro’s summer flounder stock assessment update, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in December, that has him in the crosshairs of New Jersey politicians and recreational fishing leaders. Terceiro, a research fishery biologist at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, said a lot of information goes into a stock assessment. “The catch is, from both commercial and recreational, very important — that it be accurate,” Terceiro added. “We try — the government, the states — (to) go to great lengths to make sure the catch reports are as accurate as they can get.” continue reading the article here 09:20

N.J. Reps LoBiondo and Pallone talk tough, announce legislation to prevent absurd summer flounder quotas

Reps. Frank LoBiondo and Frank Pallone on Thursday, Feb. 23 announced plans to introduce new legislation to prevent the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 2017 and 2018 summer flounder quotas for recreational and commercial fishing from going into effect. In a press release, Pallone and LoBiondo said the rules would do damage to the economies of coastal communities and the state. Under the NOAA quotas, the allowed summer flounder catch for recreational and commercial fishing were both reduced by approximately 30 percent in 2017 and 16 percent in 2018. The Pallone-LoBiondo legislation would maintain the 2016 quota levels and require that NOAA conduct a new assessment before issuing new quotas. Continue reading the story here 07:31

Commission Cuts Summer Flounder leaving New Jersey leaders fuming

The Commission voted Thursday to reduce this year’s summer flounder catch, leaving New Jersey leaders fuming and vowing to take action. It’s a move many in the state believe could devastate the recreational fishing industry at the Jersey Shore by tightening size and bag limits on the fish.,,At its meeting in Virginia, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission chose Option 5, which implements reductions between 28 percent and 32 percent the length of the coast. All other options included in the plan would have mandated a 41 percent cut. Federal experts have argued the reductions are necessary to preserve the stock. At a public hearing last month in Galloway Township, Kirby Rootes-Murdy, a senior fishery management plan coordinator at ASMFC, said the flounder stock is in “an overfishing situation.” Read the story here 21:00

Van Drew Measure Asks President to Reject Summer Flounder Catch Reduction

A measure sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew and Bob Smith urging President Donald Trump to reject the proposed reduction in the summer flounder catch limit – an action that would have a drastic impact on fishing in New Jersey and the economy – and urging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to conduct a new summer flounder assessment was approved today by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “We are very concerned about the decision to move forward with a catch reduction. That fact that it was based on faulty data only adds insult to injury,” said Senator Van Drew (D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic.) “We are urging the President to reject this dramatic change that will have a real negative effect on both the fishing industry and our economy and asking for a new assessment before any new catch quota is implemented.” Read the story here 09:15

Nils Stolpe – Summer Flounder Management – Can it get any worse?

Summer flounder, also known as fluke, support recreational and commercial fisheries that are among the most important in the mid-Atlantic and southern New England. They have been a mainstay of recreational fishermen either from their own boats or on for-hire vessels, support a large directed commercial fishery, their incidental harvest is important in other fisheries and they are near the top of the list of must-have meals for summer visits to the shore. Hundreds of party and charter boats depend on them for all or for part of their annual incomes, thousands of private boats seek them out every summer, and much of the business bait and tackle shops do every year depends on the fishery. Hundreds of commercial fishing boats target them or take them incidentally in other fisheries.,, The summer flounder stock has gone from having the highest biomass in 50 years to being on the verge of overfishing in the five years between 2011 and 2016. While no one seems to know why the management program hadn’t been working, the SSC did come up with several possibilities. These included “sources of (fishing) mortality that are not fully accounted in the assessment. These could include under-estimation of discards in both the commercial and recreational fisheries and lower estimates of mortality rates applied to the discards than are actually occurring.” Read the full article here 15:27

Further cut in fluke quota puts Stonington fishermen, wholesaler in peril

Imagine one of the breadwinners in a typical two-earner household is suddenly hit with a 26 percent pay cut. Then, just as the family has adjusted to the leaner budget, the same worker’s pay gets lopped another 30 percent. Their landlord already has reduced their rent, and the family has cut corners wherever they could, so how will they make ends meet now? That’s basically the question Mike Gambardella, owner of Gambardella Wholesale Fish at Stonington Town Dock, is asking himself. He faces a new 30 percent reduction in the supply of fluke, one of his main products, next year, following the 26 percent cut he’s already dealing with this year that’s cost him about $100,000 in revenue. It also forced him to lay off one of his workers and reduce pay for himself and his remaining six workers, and negotiate reduced rent on the building he rents from the town. “At this point,” he said Thursday, “we’re fighting a losing battle. If I lose another $100,000 next year, I can’t afford to stay in business.” The new 30 percent cut in the supply of fluke — also called summer flounder — was announced Aug. 15 by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which regulates fluke and other species for the East Coast along with a larger body, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, but the council basically has the controlling authority. Read the story here 11:14

MAFMC and ASMFC Actions on Black Sea Bass, Bluefish, Scup and Summer Flounder

10.summer-flounderLast week the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) reviewed previously implemented specifications for scup, black sea bass and bluefish fisheries and modified specifications for summer flounder. The Commission’s actions are final and apply to state waters. The Council will forward its federal waters recommendations regarding summer flounder specifications to NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Administrator for final approval. For summer flounder, both groups approved a commercial quota of 5.66 million pounds and a recreational harvest limit of 3.77 million pounds for 2017, an approximate 30% decrease from 2016. This decrease in catch and landings limits responds to the findings of the 2016 stock assessment update, which indicates summer flounder has been experiencing overfishing since 2008. Read the rest here 12:06

Summer flounder’s new status from “viable” to “concern”reduces allowable catch

Fluke Summer FlounderThe stock status of most coastal fish did not change in the 2016 N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Stock Status Report, but one species was reclassified from the 2015 report. Summer flounder moved from “viable” to “concern” based on a 2015 National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Fisheries Science Center benchmark stock assessment for U.S. waters north of Cape Hatteras. The assessment indicated the stock of summer flounder was not overfished but overfishing was occurring, according to a NCDMF news release. As a result of the stock assessment, federal fisheries authorities lowered the allowable biological catch by 29 percent, which lowered the state-by-state commercial quotas proportionately. North Carolina receives the highest commercial quota share at 27.4 percent. Read the rest here – Read NCDMR Stock Assessment here 14:51

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approves NJ option for summer flounder

New Jersey is one step closer to becoming its own summer flounder management region. The  unanimously approved an option Tuesday during their winter meetings in Virginia to allow for a New Jersey/Delaware Bay management region. It would pull the state out of its present management region which it shares with Connecticut and New York.The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council must now vote to adopt the measure. The council’s next meeting is March 3. Read the rest here 19:21

NMFS Announces 2016-2018 Regs for Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass

nmfs_logoNOAA Fisheries NMFS announces the 2016-2018 regulations for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The summer flounder catch limit is reduced by 30 percent (from 23 million lbs to 16 million lbs) due to 4 years of below average recruitment (young fish entering the fishery). The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has requested a stock assessment update for next year. The scup catch limit is slightly reduced compared to 2015 levels, but is still well above recent catch. Read the rest here 12:45

The Harvey Haddock Report – Fullabullard to Fishermen, DROP DEAD!

fullabullardAt a meeting here in NYC on august 12, 2015 the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted in favor of  economically devastating quota cuts in the summer flounder fishery of 29% for each of the next three years. 70  commercial and recreational fishermen were at the meeting to plea for a delay so the North East Fishery Science  center  could  review the  stock assessment data using different data inputs. But the council cowardly co towed to Fullabullard’s bullying and  rubber stamped the reductions. Read the rest here 18:28

Flounder cuts may be phased in following another questionable NOAA NESC stock assessment.

NOAA ScientistA widely attacked proposal to reduce summer flounder catches by 43 percent next year may be replaced by one that phases in the cutbacks over three years. Koeneke, who has suffered increasing restrictions over the years _ the minimum fish size going from 13 inches in 1985 to 18 inches today _ doesn’t accept the science. “I’m convinced they don’t know what they’re talking about. We see a lot of flounder. We raised the (size) limit and saved a lot of fish. It looks like it recovered and then the next year they say we have a problem,” said Koeneke. Read the rest here 08:29

Governor Cuomo Calls For Fair and Gradual Changes to Summer Flounder Fishery

Fluke Summer FlounderGovernor Cuomo called on the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council to reevaluate a potential 43 percent fluke harvest reduction for New York in 2016. The potential reduction would negatively affect both commercial and recreational fisheries in New York State. The potential reductions are based on several consecutive years of lower than average reproductive success and not as a result of overharvest in New York or elsewhere on the coast. Read the rest here 10:09

Summer flounder won’t stand up and be counted – Fighting for fluke

Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund  is working with scientists from Cornell, Rutgers and other universities, along with the National Marine Fisheries Service, to develop a more comprehensive summer flounder model that more accurately portrays the size and composition of the fishery,,,  more females are caught in the recreational fishery as opposed to the commercial side. It might have to do with where commercial fishing is done or “it might be that females are more willing to bite bait,” said Munroe. “There could be all kinds of reasons.” Read the rest here 12:01

Jersey Shore Fishing: Change in fluke quota split on the table

ASMFC SidebarMAFMC SidebarA possible change in the 60-40 split of the summer flounder quota in favor of commercial interests was one of the many issues up for discussion at Tuesday’s public scoping meeting in Belmar Municipal Court. That issue was number two among those to be considered in development of the Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Plan,, Read the rest here 11:01

Summer flounder fishing rules to get examined and overhauled

Summer flounder fishing rules for the Atlantic Ocean may get an overhaul. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is starting a process to prepare an environmental impact statement and plan a scoping process to change the fishery management. NMFS is announcing the effort in the Federal Register of Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. NMFS plans a series of 14 public scoping meetings where the public can speak between Sept. 22 and Oct. 29. Read the rest here 08:23

North Bound Fluke migration puts regulators in gear

As Summer Flounder, or fluke, migrate northward away from the past population center off North Carolina, fisheries regulators have taken the first steps toward reworking the rules to cope with industry and political pressure. <Read more here> 06:47

Uncivil War Brews Over Summer Flounder as Waters Warm

assets-climatecentral-org-images-uploads-news-06-20-14_TDC_polewardshift_-350x364The summer flounder – one of the most sought-after catches on the U.S. East Coast – is stirring up a climate change battle as it glides through the sand and grasses at the bottom of a warming North Atlantic. Some scientists say in recent years the species has begun adapting in another way. As the Atlantic Ocean has warmed, they say, the fish have headed north. (like codfish? yellow tail flounder? hmm?) Read more here 10:05

County Officials Visit Montauk; Talk Shop With Business Owners And Fishermen

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and County Legislator Jay Schneiderman made a visit to Montauk on a recent rainy Wednesday afternoon to hear from business owners and fishermen about the most pressing issues they face, such as the shoring up of downtown Montauk and restrictions placed on commercial fishermen. Read more here  08:40

October 1, 2013 Closure of the New York Summer Flounder Fishery

nmfs_logoNMFS announced that the 2013 commercial summer flounder quota allocated to New York has been harvested.  Effective 0001 hours, October 1, 2013, fishing vessels issued a Federal moratorium permit for the summer flounder fishery may no longer land summer flounder in New York for the remainder of the 2013 calendar year  Click here to read more. 13:51