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Amendment 23 to the Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan

January 31, 2023

NOAA Fisheries is approving and implementing Amendment 23 effective February 1, 2023.

We approved Amendment 23 on January 24, 2023, and the final rule was published and implemented on February 1, 2023. This action implements a revised Atlantic mackerel rebuilding plan to have the stock rebuilt by 2032. In 2019, we implemented an initial 5-year Atlantic mackerel rebuilding plan, but in 2021 the Atlantic mackerel management track assessment determined that the Atlantic mackerel stock was still overfished and overfishing was still occurring. That assessment also noted that under the original rebuilding plan, the stock was expected to be less than half rebuilt by 2023 (the terminus year of that rebuilding plan).

In addition to the revised Atlantic mackerel rebuilding plan, this amendment implements the 2023 Atlantic mackerel specifications which include:

  • An acceptable biological catch (ABC) of 8,094 mt.
  • ABC deductions for expected Canadian catch (2,197 mt), U.S. recreational catch (2,143 mt), and U.S. estimated commercial discards (115 mt).
  • A cumulative commercial quota of 3,639 mt.
  • A 20-fish per person recreational possession limit (including private anglers and for-hire crew).
  • A status quo river herring and shad catch cap of 129 mt.
  • A modified commercial fishery closure approach summarized in the table below.

Modified Fishery Closure Approach


Time of Year

Unharvested Domestic Annual Harvest Remaining

2023 Closure Threshold Amounts

Possession Limit Adjustments

Initial Closure

Before May 1

886 mt

2,753 mt

40,000 lb for Tier 1, 2, or 3 limited access permits;

5,000 lb for incidental/open access permits

May 1 or after

443 mt

3,196 mt

Final Closure

Any time of year

100 mt

3,539 mt

5,000 lb for all federal Atlantic mackerel permit holders


More details on this action and revisions to existing regulations can be found in the Amendment 23 final rule.

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.