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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Southern Flounder Topic

Marine Fisheries


Information on Southern Flounder Amendment

On Aug. 23, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission adopted the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Amendment 2 as proposed by the Division of Marine Fisheries, giving the director of the Division of Marine Fisheries flexibility with the commercial and recreational seasons so long as they meet the statutorily required harvest reductions.

The Division of Marine Fisheries issued proclamations that closed the commercial and recreational seasons on Sept. 4.


The most recent coast-wide (North Carolina to the east coast of Florida) stock assessment for Southern Flounder determined the stock is overfished and overfishing is occurring. Reductions in total removals of southern flounder are required by state law to achieve a sustainable harvest, end overfishing within two years and recover the stock from an overfished condition within a 10-year period. Management measures to meet these requirements have been developed for consideration by the Marine Fisheries Commission for implementation before fall 2019 and are found in draft Amendment 2.

Implementation of the season closure management strategy recommended in Amendment 2 is deemed critical to successful rebuilding of the southern flounder stock, so management actions can be implemented during the 2019 calendar year and reducing harvest is not delayed while more comprehensive strategies are developed for Amendment 3. Management measures such as quotas, slot limits, changes in the size limit, additional gear changes and species-specific management can all be examined in Amendment 3, scheduled for completion in 2021. These are not considered feasible options to address sustainable harvest in draft Amendment 2 due to the accelerated timeline.

Marine Fisheries Commission approves flounder season closure, denies petition for rulemaking
(Aug. 28, 2019)

  Proclamation Opening Commercial Season
FF-34-2019
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FF-34-2019 Map package
Proclamation Closing Recreational Season Proclamation Closing Commercial Season

Marine Fisheries Commission Preferred Management Options
(June 2019)

Draft Southern Flounder Amendment 2
(June 7, 2019)
Division of Marine Fisheries’ Overview of Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan
(June 2019)
Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Draft Amendment 2 Presentation (June 3, 2019) Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Draft Amendment 2 Presentation (June 6, 2019)
Stock Assessment of Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) in the South Atlantic, 1989-2017 (Jan. 2019) Stock Assessment and Projections of Southern Flounder in the South Atlantic Presentation
(June 2019)

Public Comment is Now Closed

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

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