On the plus side, the Council and Commission agreed to a vote of conservational equivalency for summer flounder once again this year, based on the fact that states would have the option to relax their summer flounder limits for the coming season. "Based on the projected summer flounder landings according to MRFSS in relation to the allowable targets we were given in the way of season, bag and size limits, it looks like we'll be able to see a less restrictive fishery in the season ahead," said Jim Donofrio, Executive Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA).
Donofrio said that landings data from the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistical Survey (or MRFSS) this past season indicate that states like New York, which have the most restrictive summer flounder limits along the coast, should be able to liberalize their seasonal limits by upwards of 40% in 2011 as opposed to 2010 regulations. "MRFSS numbers are so bad, so grossly out of whack, that the swing from one season to the next can be off by 100% either way," Donofrio said. "Our Mid-Atlantic anglers have been taking such a hit in fluke quotas over the past few years, it's good to hear some good news for once on this front," Donofrio added.