An exploited loophole in the Atlantic for blueline tilefish led to over-harvesting so extreme, regulators put an emergency management action into effect June 4.

In 2013, 64,420 pounds of blueline tilefish were caught commercially from North Carolina to New England. That number more than tripled in 2014, to 195,644 pounds.

Blueline tilefish are traditionally a South Atlantic fishery, but a stock assessment down there found that overfishing was occurring, according to Jason Didden of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and effectively shut down harvest in the south with an emergency rule in April of 2014.

However, no federal regulations were in place above North Carolina, and while Maryland and Virginia have laws limiting blueline tilefish harvests, that's not the case in Delaware, New York and New Jersey.

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Jessica Hathaway is the former editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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