Quota Concerns Prompt Mass. Flounder Fishery to Shut Down

Fishermen had caught 85 percent if their quota by Aug. 4

Federal regulators are shutting down the fishery for a popular food fish in Massachusetts because of concerns about exceeding quota.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says vessels are prohibited from bringing summer flounder to the docks in Massachusetts for the remainder of the fishing year. The closure went into effect on Tuesday.

The NOAA says the closure is needed because Massachusetts fishermen had caught 85 percent of their quota by Aug. 4 and were projected to reach their limit by Tuesday.

Summer flounder is a major fishery on the East Coast. Fishermen bring them to land from Massachusetts to South Carolina. They typically harvest between 7 million and 15 million pounds of the flatfish every year. The fishery's often worth more than $30 million.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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