Selectivity of Summer Flounder, Paralichthys Dentatus, in the Recreational and Commercial Fisheries

Monday, August 18, 2014
Exhibit Hall 400AB (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Jason M. Morson , Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, Rutgers University, Port Norris, NJ
Eleanor A. Bochenek , Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, Rutgers University, Cape May, NJ
Eric N. Powell , Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, The University of Southern Mississippi, Ocean Springs, MS
Emerson Hasbrouck Jr. , Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program, Cornell University, Riverhead, NY
Statistical catch-at-age models, like the one used in the stock assessment of summer flounder, can be sensitive to assumptions of about fishery selectivity.  The minimum retention size in the commercial summer flounder fishery is uniform coast-wide, however in the recreational fishery the minimum retention size varies annually and is set separately by each state.  In addition, summer flounder females grow faster than males and experience a lower natural mortality rate.  Females may therefore be more vulnerable to one or both fisheries.  Finally, summer flounder may separate spatially by sex during some months of the year.  Male and female fish therefore may not be equally available to fishing gear at least during some parts of the year.  Given the life history of summer flounder and the regulatory measures implemented in the commercial and recreational fisheries, selectivity-at-age may vary by sex and fishery.  We collected sex, length, and age data from summer flounder (n = 31,213) landed in the recreational and commercial fisheries along the entire Mid-Atlantic coast in 2010 and 2011.  We examine evidence for regulatory and sex specific selectivity-at-age and discuss how our results compare with current assumptions about selectivity in these two fisheries.