Feds up New England catch limit on winter flounder

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BOSTON (AP) — Federal fishing regulators are more than doubling the catch limit of winter flounder in the Gulf of Maine after new information shows it’s not being overfished anymore.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced in this past week a 1.1 million pound limit on winter flounder this fishing year, which ends April 30. That’s up from about 510,000 pounds.

Officials say fishing revenue could increase by $1.2 million with the change. They say that’s important as fishermen face cuts next year in the catch of the important Gulf of Maine cod.

Winter flounder was believed to be in extremely tough shape after a 2008 study. The increased catch limit was set up in mid-2011, when scientists using recent catch data and a more sophisticated stock assessment model determined fishermen could safely catch more.

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