Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Summer Meeting Alexandria VA / August 1-3 2017. The overarching highlight of the ASMFC Summer Meeting was the Menhaden Management Board which continued development of Amendment 3 to the Menhaden Fishery Management Plan. The Board received a stock assessment update and as was expected, Menhaden remain healthy and are not overfished
Spot are most abundant from the Chesapeake Bay to South Carolina. Spot are a short lived fish. This causes fluctuations in both recreational and commercial catch. The catch, in most years, consists primarily of only one year class. Spot experience significant bycatch issues with haul seine and pound net fisheries in North Carolina and the Chesapeake as well as the shrimp fishery in the South Atlantic. Spot are also a prized live bait for striped bass. The recreational catch in 2015 was only 2.27 million pounds. This is the lowest harvest in almost twenty years.
Spot are managed by a Traffic Light Analysis. The management tool looks at both harvest and population metrics to determine the health of the stock. The 2017 benchmark stock assessment was not endorsed by an independent panel of scientists for management purposes. They did recommend continued use of the TLA. The independent panel also determined that estimated bycatch of croaker and spot is significant. They suggested that byctach estimate be included in the next benchmark assessment for spot,