Commercial season closures for spot and for croaker will begin on different dates in December, the Division of Marine Fisheries announced Monday.
The commercial fishery for spot will close from Dec. 10 through April 4, 2022.
The commercial fishery for Atlantic croaker will close from Dec. 16-31.
Recreational bag limits implemented in April of 50-fish per person per day for each species remain.
The regulations are in line with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission spot and Atlantic croaker fishery management plans.
The stock status of both species is monitored by an adaptive management system, known as a traffic light analysis, which uses stock indicators to track relative abundance compared to a set of reference years, according to the division. The latest traffic light analyses for both spot and Atlantic croaker indicate a moderate level of concern.
This requires the 50-fish bag limit for the recreational fishery and a 1% reduction in commercial landings from the 10-year average for each state from New Jersey to Florida that has substantial spot and Atlantic croaker landings and does not already have regulations in place.
These management measures will remain in effect for at least two years for spot and at least three years for Atlantic croaker. Future traffic light analyses for each species will determine if the regulations are still required, should remain in place, or if additional management measures are needed.
For more information, contact Chris Batsavage at 252-808-8009 or Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov.