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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 25 Scup SSR 2015

Marine Fisheries

Scup

Scup — 2015

Stock Status – Viable – The 2012 stock assessment update for U.S. waters north of Cape Hatteras 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.

Average Commercial Landings and Value 2005-2014 161,458 lbs./ $86,636

2014 Commercial Landings and Value – 160,508 lbs./ $110,203 (quota managed)

Average Recreational Landings 2005-2014 20 lbs., 2014 – 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. South of Cape Hatteras, scup are managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. A benchmark stock assessment is underway in 2015.

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.

2014 Regulations – Commercial: 9 inches total length (TL) minimum size limit, minimum mesh sizes for trawls are required (see most recent scup proclamation); Recreational: 8 inches TL minimum size, 50 fish bag limit/day in state waters; 9 inches TL minimum size, 50 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 is typically 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 2005-2014 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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