Spot - 2013
Stock Status – Concern – Commercial landings and effort have generally been decreasing in the major fisheries. Commercial catches in 2012 decreased 48% from 2011 to a historical low in 2012. The juvenile abundance index increased in 2012. Recreational landings decreased 44% to a historical low in 2012.
Average Commercial Landings and Value 2003–2012 – 1,206,081 lbs./$712,863
2012 Commercial Landings and Value – 489,676 lbs./$465,750
Average Recreational Landings 2003-2012 – 777,540 lbs., 2012 – 230,259 lbs.
Average Number of Award Citations (1 lb.) 2003-2012 – 38, 2012 – 0
Status of Fishery Management Plan (FMP) – In North Carolina, spot is currently included in the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Management Plan, which defers to Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) FMP compliance requirements. An ASMFC Spot FMP was approved in 1987. Beginning in 2007, the Spot Plan Review Team (PRT) compiled and analyzed available fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data from the species’ core area (Maryland-South Carolina) to develop relative spot abundance indices. In 2010, ASMFC also developed a life history report that could provide necessary data for a stock assessment.
In 2011, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved the Omnibus Amendment for spot, spotted seatrout, and Spanish mackerel. The Amendment updates all three plans with requirements under the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (1993) and the Interstate Fishery Management Program Charter (1995). The updates to the plans include commercial and recreational management measures and recommendations, adaptive management options, de minimis thresholds and exemptions, and monitoring recommendations. The Omnibus Amendment includes a management trigger for spot, which will help the management board in monitoring the status of the stock until a full coast-wide stock assessment can be completed. Coupled with adaptive management measures, the Omnibus Amendment will provide options to efficiently implement management measures should the management board determine that such measures are needed in the future.
Research and Data Needs – Coast-wide stock assessment analysis, migration studies (tagging), and maturity and fecundity studies
2012 Regulations – None
Harvest Season – Year round
Size and Age at Maturity – 7–8 inches total length/1–2 years
Historical and Current Maximum Age – 6 years
Juvenile Abundance Index 2003-2012 – 445, 2012 – 719
Habits and Habitats – Spot are short-lived estuarine-dependent members of the drum family, that include Atlantic croaker, red drum, black drum, spotted seatrout, and weakfish. Spot spawn in the ocean from late fall to early spring. Wind and currents carry the young into the upper reaches of the estuaries where they remain throughout the spring. Adult spot migrate seasonally between estuarine and near-shore ocean waters but are rarely found in the upper reaches of the estuary. Spot are most susceptible to commercial and recreational fishing activity during the fall when schools migrate from estuarine to oceanic waters.
For more information, contact Kevin Brown at Kevin.H.Brown@ncdenr.gov or 800-682-2632 or 252-808-8089.