Summer flounder were badly overfished in 1998, and overfishing was still occurring, which is why anglers in New York and New Jersey killed so many fish that year. Back then, summer flounder management still took place in Bizarro world. Suggesting that 1998 harvest levels should inform the quota-setting process today is at least as bizarre.
If you read the whole press release, you’ll find that Donofrio rails against a lot of things and not just that one “fatal flaw.” He also condemns a “status quo do nothing management approach,” “erroneous landings estimates produced by a still broken recreational data collection system,” “dangerous and arbitrary” provisions of the Magnuson Act,” and “a totally inadequate and scientifically untenable [summer flounder] quota amount.”
It wants to go back to 1998, when an 82% chance of failure was good enough, and fisheries managers lived in Bizarro world.