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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 30 Spot SSR 2014

Marine Fisheries

Spot

Spot - 2014

Stock Status – Concern – Commercial landings and effort have generally been decreasing in the major fisheries. Commercial catches in 2013 increased 57% from a historical low in 2012. The juvenile abundance index increased in 2013. Recreational landings increased 101% from a historical low in 2012.

Average Commercial Landings and Value 2004-2013 – 1,078,601 lbs./$690,987

2013 Commercial Landings and Value – 768,585 lbs./$690,029

Average Recreational Landings 2004-2013 – 729,286 lbs., 2013 – 462,884 lbs.

Average Number of Award Citations (1 lb.) 2004-2013 – 35, 2013 – 0

Status of Fishery Management Plan (FMP) – In North Carolina, spot is included in the Interjurisdictional Fishery 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 ASMFC approved the Omnibus Amendment for spot, spotted seatrout, and Spanish mackerel. The Omnibus 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 coastwide 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.

In February 2014, South Atlantic State/Federal Fisheries Management Board approved a motion to initiate the development of an addendum to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for spot to employ the traffic light approach in order to better manage this species. The draft addendum presents background on the ASMFC’s management of spot, the addendum process and timeline, and a statement of the problem. In May 2014 the South Atlantic State/Federal Fisheries Management Board approved the draft addendum for public comment. The addendum is scheduled for final approval in August 2014.

Research and Data Needs – Coastwide stock assessment analysis, migration studies (tagging), and maturity and fecundity studies

2013 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 2004-2013 – 480, 2013 – 808

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.

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

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