The stock status of most coastal fish
did not change in the 2016 Stock Status Report, released last week by
the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. Only one species was
reclassified from the 2015 report.
Summer flounder moved from “viable”
to “concern.” The change was 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 was not overfished but overfishing was occurring.
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.
division annually classifies the status of important marine finfish,
shellfish, shrimp and crabs as viable, recovering, concern, depleted
or unknown. Definitions of these categories can be found at
classifications are based on biological and statistical data from the
prior year and serve as a barometer of the overall health of the
state’s fishery resources. They are used to prioritize development
of state fishery management plans.
year, the online table that summarizes the report includes
information about which fisheries management authorities manage the
stock in parenthesis under each species name.
complete 2016 Stock Status Report can be found on the division’s
website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/stock-status-reports.
For more information, contact division
Fisheries Biologist Lee Paramore at 252-473-5734, ext. 222 or