FISHERY BULLETIN ISSUE DATE: October 1, 2018
CONTACT: Susan Gerhart, 727-824-5305, [email protected]
- Commercial harvest of king mackerel in federal waters of the Western Zone will close at 12:00 pm, local time, on October 5, 2018.
- Commercial harvest will reopen at 12:01 am, local time, on July 1, 2019.
WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:
- The 2018/2019 commercial hook-and-line quota is 1,116,000 pounds. Updated landings data indicate that the harvest of king mackerel in this zone will reach the quota by October 5, 2018.
- In accordance with regulations, NOAA Fisheries is required to close a fishery when the quota has been met. This closure is needed to prevent overfishing of this species. Overfishing is when the annual catch rate is too high.
DURING THE CLOSURE:
- A person on board a vessel that has been issued a valid federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for coastal migratory pelagic fish may continue to retain king mackerel in the Western Zone under the recreational bag and possession limits, as long as the recreational sector for Gulf king mackerel is open.
- King mackerel from the closed zone, including those harvested under the bag and possession limits, may not be purchased or sold after 12:00 pm on October 5, 2018.
- The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to trade in king mackerel that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold before 12:00 pm, October 5, 2018, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.