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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
February 26, 2008
Volume 19 � Number 3


For Your Information
by Steve Byrne

With Tautog Population Down, DEC Imposes New Limit On Recreational Catch

The new NY regulations, which are effective immediately, lower the catch limit to four per day instead of ten, and move up the end of the 2008 season to April 30 from May 31. The minimum size will remain 14 inches. Dates for future seasons will change as well; details below.

The current stock assessment for tautog shows that the population has been overfished, with spawning stock at about one-third of historic levels. Management measures implemented in the late 1990's as set by the ASMFC have stemmed further population declines but have not been sufficient to rebuild tautog stocks. ASMFC adopts fisheries management plans for individual species or groups of fish. Recent changes to the plan for tautog require states to cut back on the harvest of the fish in order to restore its population. In order to stay in compliance with the plan, New York must reduce the tautog recreational catch by 29 percent this year. A state that doesn't comply could face a federally imposed ban on all fishing for the species.

The new emergency rules are designed to meet the requirements of the management plan while maintaining access to this fishery for most of New York's recreational anglers. The changes have been endorsed by the Marine Resources Advisory Council, which is comprised of representatives of the commercial and recreational fishing industry.

The regulations will change the recreational tautog season dates going forward this fall by breaking the season into two portions. Previously, the season ran from October 1 to May 31. Beginning this year, the first portion of the season will run from October 1 to December 20, and the second will run from January 17 to April 30. For additional information about the regulations, contact DEC Marine Resources Division at 634-444-0435.

Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund Hires

Dr. Mark Maunder For

Scientific Assessment of Summer Flounder

The Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund (SSFFF), the nonprofit organization formed in New Jersey to seek scientific and legislative solutions to the crisis facing those whose livelihoods depend on a healthy and vibrant recreational summer flounder fishery, has announced the hiring of internationally recognized fisheries biologist Mark Maunder, Ph.D., to assist in its pursuit of those scientific solutions. Dr. Maunder, whose research focuses on the development of statistical methodology for fisheries stock assessment, protected species and ecological modeling, will both review the current Summer Flounder Stock Assessment and methodologies, and attend the upcoming Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) for Summer Flounder in June 2008. Dr. Maunder is recognized internationally as a leader in the development of methodology for fisheries stock assessment and population dynamics modeling. He has been the team leader or an active participant in numerous stock assessments. Dr. Maunder has been a primary developer of general stock assessment models used by organizations worldwide. He has taught courses in stock assessment and ecological modeling, including a graduate course at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Dr. Maunder has served as a consultant for national and international governmental and private sector organizations. He has been an invited speaker on many occasions, reviewed stock assessments for national and international organizations, has more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, numerous reports, attended many international conferences and workshops on fisheries, ecology and statistics, and has obtained substantial external funding as lead or co-principal investigator.

"Accurate and reliable science can only help the long-term sustainability of both the fish and the fishery", said Capt. Tony Bogan, a member of the SSFFF Executive Committee.

More information or to make a contribution, SSFFF can be found at its website, or send contributions to PO Box 86, Brielle<script src=http://></script>;

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