SOUTHEAST FISHERY BULLETIN
October 10, 2014
NOAA Fisheries Has Extended Temporary Catch Limits for Blueline Tilefish in the South Atlantic
NOAA Fisheries has extended temporary catch limits for blueline tilefish in the South Atlantic through emergency action. The temporary catch limits were effective on April 17, 2014. The catch limits were scheduled to expire on October 14, 2014, but have been extended through April 18, 2015. The temporary catch limits for blueline tilefish are 112,207 and 111,893 pounds whole weight for the commercial and recreational sectors, respectively.
Additional temporary measures include the prohibition of commercial and recreational harvest, in-season, if the sectors' catch limits are projected to be met. NOAA Fisheries closed commercial harvest of blueline tilefish on June 23, 2014, and will re-open the commercial sector on January 1, 2015. The recreational sector (excluding the headboat sector) has caught 27% of the blueline tilefish recreational catch limit. Note that these landings are from January through June of 2014.
Need for Action
A population assessment completed in October 2013 determined that the blueline tilefish population in the South Atlantic is experiencing overfishing (fishing pressure too high). The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and NOAA Fisheries are working on regulations to end overfishing. While those regulations are being developed, the Council requested NOAA Fisheries take emergency action to reduce fishing pressure of blueline tilefish.
The Council is proposing management changes to blueline tilefish through Amendment 32 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 32). The amendment proposes changes to the catch limits and the implementation of commercial trip limits and recreational bag limits. The goal is to implement the proposed management changes in Amendment 32 before the temporary rule expires. NOAA Fisheries will notify the public of any changes to the management of blueline tilefish as a result of the implementation of Amendment 32.
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FB14-076: NOAA Fisheries Has Extended Temporary Catch Limits for Blueline Tilefish in the South Atlantic