US looking to Increase Limits for Skate Fishing in Northeast

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The federal government’s considering allowing northeastern U.S. fishermen to harvest more skates, which are used for food and bait.

Skates are flat fish caught on both coasts of the U.S. and commonly sold as “skate wing.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s looking to increase the maximum catch of skate wing in the northeastern states from 19.2 million pounds to 23.1 million pounds.

The maximum amount of skate bait that can be brought to land would also be boosted from 9.7 million pounds to 11.6 million pounds.

American fishers caught over 40 million pounds of skate in 2016, the most recent year for which figures are available. The biggest skate fisheries in the northeastern U.S. are based in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The NOAA is taking comments until Dec. 12.

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