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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 30 Spot SSR 2015

Marine Fisheries

Spot

Spot — 2015

Stock Status - Concern – Commercial landings and effort have generally been decreasing in the major fisheries. Commercial catches in 2014 decreased 0.5% from 2013. The juvenile abundance index decreased in 2014. Recreational landings increased 53% from 2013. In August 2014 Addendum I was approved for spot to employ the traffic light approach in order to better manage this species.

Average Commercial Landings and Value 2005-2014 923,353 lbs./$645, 874

2014 Commercial Landings and Value – 764,689 lbs./$618,393

Average Recreational Landings 2005-2014 – 624,550 lbs., 2013 – 704,445 lbs.

Average Number of Award Citations (1 lb.) 2005-2014 – 11, 2014 – 1

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.

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 using relative abundance indices, to monitor the status of the stock until a full coastwide stock assessment can be completed. Coupled with adaptive management measures, the Omnibus Amendment provides options to efficiently implement management measures should the management board determine that such measures are needed in the future.

In August 2014 Addendum I was approved for spot to employ the traffic light approach in order to better manage this species. The traffic light approach will be reviewed annually and will evaluate fisheries trends and develop state-specified management actions (e.g. bag limits, size restrictions, time and area closures, and gear restrictions) when harvest and abundance thresholds are exceeded for two consecutive years. The ASMFC management area extends from Delaware to the east coast of Florida. A benchmark stock assessment is scheduled for 2016.

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

2014 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 2005-2014 480, 2014 398

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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