FISHERY BULLETIN ISSUE DATE: October 05, 2017
CONTACT: Kelli O’Donnell, 727-824-5305,Kelli.ODonnell@NOAA.gov
Commercial Harvest of King Mackerel in Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico Western Zone Will Close on October 7, 2017
- Commercial harvest of king mackerel in federal waters of the Western Zone
will close at 12:00 pm (local time) on October 7, 2017.
- Commercial harvest will reopen at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on July 1, 2018.
WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:
- The 2017/2018 commercial hook-and-line quota is 1,136,000 pounds. Updated landings data indicate that the harvest of king mackerel in this zone will reach the quota by October 7, 2017.
- As a result, commercial harvest will close in federal waters of the Western Zone at 12:00 pm (local time) on October 7, 2017, and will remain closed until 12:01 am (local time) on July 1, 2018.
- In accordance with the regulations NOAA Fisheries is required to close a fishery when the quota has been met. This closure is needed to prevent an overfishing status for this species. Overfishing is defined as the annual catch rate being too high.
DURING THE CLOSURE:
- No commercial fisherman may fish for or keep king mackerel in or from the closed zone after 12:00 p.m. on October 7, 2017.
- There is an exception for people aboard a vessel that has a charter/headboat permit for coastal migratory pelagic fish and a commercial king mackerel permit. Those people may keep the 3-fish per person daily king mackerel bag limit from the closed zone if the vessel is operating as a charter vessel or headboat.
- Vessels are considered to be operating as a charter vessel or headboat when they carry a passenger who pays a fee or when more than three people are aboard, including operator and crew.
- Sale or purchase of any harvested king mackerel in or from federal waters in the Western Zone is prohibited.
- The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to trade in king mackerel that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold before 12:00 p.m., October 7, 2017, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.
SIGN UP FOR TEXT MESSAGE ALERTS – FIND OUT ABOUT IMMEDIATE OPENINGS AND CLOSURES
NOAA’s Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery related alerts via text message (SMS). Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time. Text alerts you may receive include:
- Immediate fishery openings and closures
- Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly
Sign up for one or more of the following groups:
- Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
- Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
- South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
- South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
- Caribbean Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text CARIBFISH to 888777
Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707
Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750