NOAA Fisheries announced that the 2011-12 recreational catch limit has been reached, and the fishery would close 10 days later and remain closed until June 1, 2012.
The commercial fishery for black sea bass has been closed since June 15.
Statistics obtained by NOAA indicated that the recreational catch limit of 341,747 pounds had been reached, despite the fishery only being open since June 1 and with the recreational creel limit cut from 15 to five fish per day.
NOAA announced last week that an overage of 67,253 pounds from the 2010-11 season resulted in the recreational quota being lower than the allowable 409,000 pounds. Overages caused by fishing during the final 10 days of the 2011-12 season will be factored into the 2012-13 quota.
Black sea bass, a popular bottomfish off the coast of both Carolinas, is considered by NOAA to be overfished, with the rate of removal of fish from the fishery continuing to be too high.
The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, which manages fisheries in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and the east coast of Florida, will hold a round of public hearings in November, with one meeting scheduled for Nov. 14 in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
SAFMC expects to receive a new stock assessment on black sea bass at its Dec. 5-9 meeting in Raleigh, N.C.