Back in September; the Greater Atlantic Regional Office of NOAA Fisheries (GARFO) announced mandatory electronic reporting requirements effecting ANY FOR HIRE VESSEL that fishes under a federal permit and is endorsed to catch certain Mid Atlantic Council managed species. Many New England based charter boats, some who don’t even realize they are supposed to have a federal
There are two species of tilefish commonly found off the New England/Mid-Atlantic coast, the golden and the blueline. Both inhabit the outer continental shelf and continental slope, at depths ranging from 250 to 1,500 feet. Tilefish are not migratory, but instead burrow into soft mud bottoms, expanding such burrows as they grow larger over the course of their lives. Such sedentary behavior renders tilefish vulnerable to changes in oceanographic conditions; incursions of water colder than 48 degrees Fahrenheit can result in mass mortality events.
Golden tilefish are the larger and more abundant of the two species. They are slow-growing fish, capable of living for about 50 years and attaining weights that approach 70 pounds. Blueline tilefish reach a maximum weight of 25 to 30 pounds; most individuals are substantially smaller. Golden tilefish are managed
Tilefish support a lucrative commercial fishery, with most of the directed catch taken on bottom longlines. There is also a directed recreational fishery, which sees anglers “deep drop” for tilefish and other bottom species such as barrelfish, wreckfish and snowy grouper. The National Marine Fisheries Service manages both species pursuant to its Tilefish Fishery Management Plan, which is administered by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The golden tilefish stock is relatively healthy, neither overfished nor subject to overfishing. The blueline tilefish stock is not overfished, but overfishing is taking place.