Provisional landings of winter flounder in NAFO Division 4T totalled 609 t in 1995. Winter flounder landings have declined in 4T since 1991, with the sharpest declines occurring in 1993 and 1995. Annual landings have averaged 1,916 t since 1960, with wide year-to-year fluctuations. Misreporting and unreported catches of winter flounder occur frequently in the 4T fishery, where the resource has been widely used as lobster bait. Otter trawls were the dominant gear, landing 344 t of winter flounder in 1995. The number of days that otter trawls fished for winter flounder, a measure of nominal fishing effort, has declined since 1991, from approximately 2,000 days of directed effort to 453 days in 1995. Research survey data for 4T indicate that the resource is at an intermediate level of abundance relative to abundance indices since 1971. The abundance of winter flounder varies regionally within 4T, suggesting the existence of numerous stock units in this management unit.
Provisional landings of 4T yellowtail flounder reach 342 t in 1995. Landings have averaged 78 t since 1960, with wide year-to-year variation. Yellowtail flounder are landed mainly by the mobile fleet of otter trawls and seiners. The catch rates of yellowtail flounder in the 4T groundfish survey have fluctuated widely, but indicate an increasing trend since the late 1970s.
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