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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 25 Scup SSR 2014

Marine Fisheries

Scup

Scup - 2014

Stock Status – Viable – The most recent stock assessment update in 2012 indicates that the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. Fishing morality rates have been greatly reduced since 1998 and the stock was considered rebuilt in 2009. Given the success of the latest modeling approach, the stock is no longer considered data poor. Recruitment was poor in 2009 and 2010, but the 2011 year class was above average.

Average Commercial Landings and Value 2004–2013 – 197,509 lbs./$108,688

2013 Commercial Landings and Value – 28,394 lbs./$13,194 (quota managed)

Average Recreational Landings 2004–2013 – 0 lbs. 2013 – 0 lbs.

Status of Fishery Management Plan (FMP) – In North Carolina, the stock north of Cape Hatteras and south of the United States/Canada border is managed under the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission/Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council Interjurisdictional Fisheries Management Plan (FMP), adopted in 1988. Since that time several amendments to the FMP impacted management of scup, most recently Omnibus Amendment 15 in 2011. In 2012, the Commission and Council initiated the development of an amendment to the Scup FMP to consider revisions to seasonal and sector allocations. A coastwide quota regulates commercial harvest in winter periods, while state–by–state quotas regulate the summer period. Other management measures for the commercial fishery include minimum size limits, minimum mesh requirements for trawls, and a seasonal closure. Recreational fishery management measures include minimum size limits, bag limits, and fishing seasons. South of Cape Hatteras, scup are managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

Research and Data Needs – Continue monitoring catches in strata that have substantial landings of scup, collect scup discard mortality data by different commercial gear types.

2013 Regulations – Commercial: 9 inches total length (TL) minimum size limit; Recreational: 8 inches TL minimum size, 50 fish bag limit/day in state waters; 9 inches TL minimum size, 30 fish bag limit in federal waters

Harvest Season – Commercial: January through April (Winter Period I) and November through December (Winter Period II). The summer period was closed due to the small allocation provided to North Carolina for this period. Recreational: year-round (state waters).

Size and Age at Maturity – 6.7 inches TL/2 years, both sexes

Historical and Current Maximum Age – 14 years/10 years

Juvenile Abundance 2004-2013 Index – Not available

Habits and Habitats – Scup are a migratory, schooling species found primarily between Cape Cod and Cape Hatteras, but also occur in North Carolina waters south of Cape Hatteras. North of Cape Hatteras, scup overwinter in offshore waters from New Jersey to Cape Hatteras. In late-spring scup migrate to spawn inshore from southern New England to Long Island, New York. Larger fish arrive to the spawning grounds first. Larval scup are pelagic and are found in coastal waters during warmer months. Juvenile scup use a variety of coastal habitats. Scup are generally landed by North Carolina commercial fisheries in January to April during the winter trawl fishery.

For more information, contact Tom Wadsworth at Tom.Wadsworth@ncdenr.gov or 252-808-8193.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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