Mid-Atlantic flounder stock declared rebuilt

NOAA says six fish populations nationwide fully recovered from overfishing

  • Fishing for flounder on U.S. 50 bridge to Ocean City. NOAA's fisheries service has declared the Mid-Atlantic's summer flounder stock rebuilt
Fishing for flounder on U.S. 50 bridge to Ocean City. NOAA's… (Kim Hairston, 2009 )
May 15, 2012|Tim Wheeler

In a bit of good news for Maryland anglers, the federal government has declared the mid-Atlantic stock of summer flounder fully rebuilt after years of catch restrictions meant to curb overfishing.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fisheries service reported to Congress Monday that a record six fish populations nationwide had been rebuilt last year to healthy levels.  Summer flounder is the only one in the mid-Atlantic.

With those additions, the number of marine fish populations rebuilt in the past 11 years has grown to 27, NOAA said.

It's too early to say if summer flounder catch limits will be eased, or if so by how much, said Galen Tromble, NOAA's chief of domestic fisheries.  That determination will be made by the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, he said.

Overall, the federal agency determined that 86 percent of the fish populations it assessed nationwide were not being fished at too high a level last year, an improvement since 2010.

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