ISSUE DATE: November 18, 2019                                                                                  

FB19-073

CONTACT: Kelli O’Donnell, 727-824-5305, Kelli.ODonnell@noaa.gov

 

WHAT/WHEN/WHERE:

  • Commercial harvest of king mackerel in federal waters of the Western Zone will close at 12:00 pm, central time, on November 21, 2019.
  • Commercial harvest will reopen at 12:01 am, central time, on July 1, 2020

WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:

  • The 2019/2020 commercial Western Zone quota is 1,096,000 pounds.  Updated landings data indicate that the harvest of king mackerel in this zone will reach the quota by November 21, 2019.
  • 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 the 3-fish per person daily king mackerel recreational bag limit, as long as the recreational sector for Gulf king mackerel is open.
  • 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 pm, central time, November 21, 2019, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.