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RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462
DEM ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO COMMERCIAL FISHING REGULATIONS GOVERNING SCUP AND BLACK SEA BASS
Actions Involve Temporary Closure for Scup and Changes to Possession Limits for Scup and Sea Bass
PROVIDENCE - Based on recent catch rates, the Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish and Wildlife projects that the entire quota of scup allocated to Rhode Island for the summer and fall fishery will be harvested by October 1. Therefore, the commercial scup fishery will be closed to all gear types on that date. DEM is taking this action to keep Rhode Island within the assigned quota that the state receives from the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The winter fishery will reopen on November 1, with a possession limit of 500 pounds.
DEM has also increased the scup possession threshold that triggers the use of nets. The mesh threshold has been increased from 200 to 500 pounds during the period from November 1 to April 30. This ensures that fisherman can retain incidental take and reduces the waste from discards that occurred under the old threshold.
Changes to Black Sea Bass Possession Limit
DEM also announces that the daily possession limit for the commercial black sea bass fishery from October 1 through December 31 this year has been reduced to 2,000 pounds. For the 2001 commercial black sea bass fishery, the daily possession limits will be 9,000 pounds (January – March), 1,500 pounds (April – June), 1,000 pounds (July – September), and 2,000 pounds (October – December).
DEM is making these adjustments to comply with the emergency action request that was approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The two regional bodies are jointly responsible for managing scup and black sea bass along the US East Coast. The request was made to keep Rhode Island within its assigned quotas while making fish available to commercial fishermen and consumers throughout the longest period of time possible.