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Science Response 2011/011

Update for Scallop Fishery Area/Time Closure to Reduce Yellowtail Flounder By-catch on Georges Bank In 2011


An area of Georges Bank, approximately 100 nautical miles², was closed to the offshore scallop fishery during June 2010 to reduce yellowtail flounder by-catch. The closure area was determined following a review of yellowtail flounder distribution, particularly at spawning time via observed groundfish trips from the otter trawl fleet (2005 – 2009) and observed scallop fishing trips on Georges Bank(2001-2009, except 2003). Temporal trends in the distribution of the offshore scallop fishery between 1997 and 2009 were also considered.

This report provides an update to the 2010 report (DFO, 2010) on the scallop fishery area/time closure to reduce yellowtail flounder by-catch on Georges Bank. This report considers the 2010 observed by-catch data from both the groundfish and scallop fishery and the distribution of the scallop fishery in 2010. Data from 2010 was used to ascertain possible trends in yellowtail flounder distribution, especially during the second quarter (April to June) when yellowtail flounder is known to spawn (O’Brien et al., 1993).

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