To help the summer-flounder population rebound, the state Department of
Environmental Management has unveiled new catch regulations for this year.
The summer-flounder limit for commercial fishermen will decrease to 100
pounds per day, from 700 pounds per day. For fishermen in the
aggregate-landing program, the catch limit will decrease to 1,000 pounds per
week, from 5,000 pounds over two weeks.
Regulations change often during the year, and fishing limits depend on the
amount of available stocks, said Mark Gibson, the deputy chief of the DEM
Fish and Wildlife Division. The new summer-flounder policy will last the
Winter I fishing period, from January to April 30. Additional changes are
expected for other fishing periods.
Summer flounder, also known as fluke, is one of the most popular fish sought
and is a big business in Rhode Island. Last year, fishermen caught 2.5
million pounds of the fish and earned $5 million, Gibson said.
The total amount of summer flounder all Rhode Island fishermen will be
allowed to catch this year is about 1.5 million pounds.
Some commercial fishermen say the new regulation will be an undue hardship,
while others say the new limit is a necessary conservation measure.
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