Safeguard the Summer Flounder Fishery

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Safeguard the Summer Flounder Fishery

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Thomas Smith started this petition to Recreational and Commercial Anglers

The Summer Flounder Fishery is a vitally important fishery to most states comprising the Mid-Atlantic and New England Regions. The regulations governing the stock which in the nineties created unprecedented growth are in fact now the primary reason for it's unabated decline.  Substantial declines over the last decade or more in the overall population, a significant reduction in the spawning stock biomass, a more substantial decline in the mature female population leading to recruitment levels not seen in the last forty years have this fishery on a path of failing.

Harvest composition mandated by changes in recreational size minimums requiring the harvest of older age classes, a higher proportion females, accompanied by significant cuts in commercial landing quotas requiring the harvest of older age class higher market value fish to protect catch values and remain in business have altered the trajectory of this once thriving fishery.  Regulations in place over the last few decades have caused a fishery which experienced prolific growth in the nineties to spiral downward substantially since 2010, the year fisheries management declared the stock rebuilt.  We're in the process of losing an extremely important legacy summer fishery, the fabric of shore communities up and down the coast for decades.

Until the flaws of the current regulations are acknowledged and changed to alter harvest composition similar to the regulations in place during the nineties, this fishery is all but guaranteed to continue it's decline.  The socio-economic impacts have been and will continue to be catastrophic to shore based communities, recreational and commercial concerns and the fishery itself.  We need your help sending a message to Washington to make the necessary changes to the regulations which promoted unparalleled growth in the nineties.  I'd appreciate your support in signing this online petition to create that voice and send a sound and unequivocal message to Washington, the Secretary of Commerce, NOAA and National Marine Fisheries Services "NMFS" that immediate change is needed in the governance of this fishery to insure it's sustainability and future as a viable resource keenly important to millions of anglers, commercial operators and peripheral businesses dependent on it's health.   

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!