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FB17-055

FISHERY BULLETIN ISSUE DATE: October 5, 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

                      

WHAT/WHEN/WHERE:

  • 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.




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Other contacts:

Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707

            Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750