By Sean Horgan
---- — The 2013 summer flounder commercial fishing season has come and gone in Massachusetts waters effective today, as commercial fishermen holding state and federal permits have reached the species’ quota, NOAA officials have announced.
The summer flounder have not been prevalent commercial fish in the waters around Cape Ann and Gloucester, according to Vito Giacalone of the Northeast Seafood Coalition and president of the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund.
Giacalone said the summer flounder are largely fished in the waters along Massachusetts’ South Shore.
“We’re probably right at the edge of their range, even if their range has been expanded a bit to the east,” Giacalone said.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announcement released Wednesday, vessels may not land any summer flounder for the remainder of the 2013 calendar year unless additional quota becomes available via transfer from another state.
The 2013 summer flounder quota for Massachusetts set by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service was 780,246 pounds.
The New England state with the largest 2013 quota is Rhode Island, with 1.79 million pounds. The largest quotas went to North Carolina (3.13 million pounds), Virginia (2.44 million pounds) and New Jersey (1.19 million pounds).
Sean Horgan may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3464, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT