Those decisions were not popular at the time that they were made. It was inevitable that there would be some economic pain associated with the summer flounder’s recovery — pain suffered not only by the commercial fishing industry but also by the recreational fishing industry, which saw its seasons and bag limits shrink while the stocks recovered from decades of overfishing. However, such pain has been well rewarded. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), recreational fishermen caught some 2.7 million summer flounder in 1989. In 2011, after rebuilding, that number was 21 million fish. That’s a 700 percent increase! The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service’s numbers show angler trips over the last decade along the Atlantic Coast up 41 percent from the 1980s. In the mid-Atlantic alone, according to the Fisheries Service, that has brought in an additional $1.4 billion in economic activity and supported 18,660 jobs. On the commercial side, the success story is similar. Gross commercial revenues for summer flounder are up more than 60 percent since 2000, when the rebuilding plan was put in place. In total, all of the rebuilt fish stocks brought in, on average, $585 million in gross commercial revenues every year from 2008 to 2010.