The following NOAA Fisheries Bulletin is provided as a courtesy to our subscribers:
FISHERY BULLETIN ISSUE DATE: November 6, 2018
CONTACT: Lauren Waters, 727-824-5305, Lauren.Waters@noaa.gov
Commercial harvest of king mackerel in federal waters of the Western Zone will reopen for seven days in November 2018. Commercial harvestwill reopen at 12:01 am, local time, on November 12, 2018, and close at 12:01 am, local time, on November 19, 2018.
Commercial harvest will reopen at 12:01 am, local time, on July 1, 2019 when the 2019-2020 fishing season begins.
WHY THIS REOPENING IS HAPPENING:
The 2018/2019 commercial hook-and-line quota is 1,116,000 pounds. Updated landings data indicate approximately 8,500 pounds remain.
Landing projections indicate that the remaining quota will be caught within seven days of reopening the fishery.
DURING THE CLOSURE:
After 12:01am on November 19, 2018, 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 12:01am on November 19, 2018.
The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to trade in king mackerel that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold between 12:01 am, November 12, 2018 and 12:01 am, November 19,2018; and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why was the fishery closed on October 5, 2018?
Original landings data indicated that the harvest of king mackerel in this zone would reach the quota by October 5, 2018. In accordance with regulations, NOAA Fisheries closed the fishery when the quota was projected to be met, in order to prevent overfishing. Overfishing is when the annual catch rate is too high.