August 12, 2015
Jones, colleagues call for summer flounder review
Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., and several House colleagues from New Jersey
are calling on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council to
reconsider proposed 2016 harvest reductions for summer flounder.
At its meeting this week in New York City, the council is slated to
take action on a recommendation from its Science and Statistical
Committee (SSC) for a 29 percent reduction in commercial quotas and
recreational harvest limits for summer flounder in 2016 compared to
The SSC made its recommendation in July after a stock assessment update
purported to show that stock recruitment numbers for prior years may
have been overestimated, and as a result, the size of the stock may
have been overestimated as well.
In a letter sent to the council last week, and his colleagues dispute
the model used by the SSC and question its conclusions. The
congressmen make the case that the SSC’s recommendation is excessively
precautionary, and will cause unnecessary economic damage to fishermen
and fishing communities.
They also point out that the stock is fully rebuilt. To address
the situation, they urge the council to remand the issue back to the
SSC so that these matters can be more appropriately considered.
Joining Jones in signing the letter were U.S. Reps. Tom MacArthur,
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2), Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4), and Congressman
Walter B. Jones (NC-3).
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.