Flatfish fishery to flatline for a few days as quota tapped

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — If a day without flounder is like a day without sunshine, Rhode Island is looking at a dark end to the year.

Federal fishing managers say they are closing the commercial summer flounder fishery in the Ocean State at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. That means federally permitted fishing vessels can’t bring summer flounder to land for the remainder of the fishing year, which ends on Dec. 31.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the closure is required by regulations because Rhode Island fishermen have brought nearly a million pounds of the fish to docks, which is 98 percent of their quota.

The state had the third largest fishery for summer flounder in 2016, behind only North Carolina and Virginia. The fish is a popular food fish.

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