Black sea bass are small (<10 lbs.) structure-dependent fish, which support important commercial and recreational fisheries throughout the Mid-Atlantic and in southern New England. Black sea bass abundance in the northern end of its range has skyrocketed in the last several years. This may be due to warming waters that have come with climate change,
The northern stock of black sea bass (BSB), from North Carolina (Cape Hatteras) to Maine, has dramatically increased primarily due to climate change and warming water. The ideal temperature range is 59 to 64 degrees. BSB are caught closer to shore in spring and summer. They migrate to deeper offshore water in the fall and winter.
BSB have the ability to adjust their color to blend in with the bottom with colors ranging from grey, brown, black to a deep indigo hue and black. They can be found on the bottom near structure… rocky areas, jetties, reefs, rips and are often caught when fishing for summer flounder (fluke). BSB are hermaphroditic fish… they begin life as female then turn male. The world record for BSB is ten pounds four ounces and 26 inches long.
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission work cooperatively to develop regulations for BSB. These two management bodies manage BSB cooperatively because fish are caught in state waters as well as federal waters.
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