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Black Sea Bass Catch Limits Increased in South Atlantic

24 September 2013

US - NOAA Fisheries is increasing catch limits for black sea bass in the South Atlantic from 23 September, 2013 and implementing an annual prohibition on the use of black sea bass pots from 1 November - 30 April.

The actions are specified in the final rule for Regulatory Amendment 19 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 19).

Catch Limits

This rule increases the commercial and recreational annual catch limits as indicated in the table below.

According to a 2013 population assessment, the black sea bass population is not undergoing overfishing (fish being removed too quickly), is not overfished (too few fish in the population), and is rebuilt. The assessment results suggest the black sea bass catch levels may be increased without jeopardizing the health of the population.

Harvest Prohibition Using Pot Gear

This rule also prohibits the use of black sea bass pots annually from November 1 through April 30. The prohibition is a precautionary measure to prevent interactions between black sea bass pot gear and whales listed under the Endangered Species Act during large whale migrations and the right whale calving season off the southeastern coast.

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