Commercial fishermen who target dolphinfish along the Atlantic coast may be operating under a new commercial trip limit if measures proposed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council are approved during its December meeting in Atlantic Beach, NC.

On June 30, 2015, the commercial dolphin fishery was closed for the first time when NMFS projected that the annual catch limit of 1,157,001 pounds would be met. The council is now developing an amendment to the management plan, likely using trip limits designed to extend the commercial season.

Dolphinfish are managed from New England to the Florida Keys under the fishery management plan, and the closure impacted the commercial fishery along the entire Atlantic coast.

As proposed, the trip limit would become effective once a designated portion of the commercial annual catch limit is reached.

NMFS is currently reviewing the measures approved by the council. Fishermen and other interested members of the public are being asked to provide their comments on the issue through a series of public hearings by submitting written comments or participating in webinars.

For information about how to submit comments, see the full release issued by the council posted by Saving Seafood.

Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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