- The commercial harvest of Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel in the Atlantic southern zone will close at 6:00 a.m., local time, on February 3, 2021, and will open on March 1, 2021, for the March 2021 through February 2022 fishing season. The Atlantic southern zone includes federal waters off the states of South Carolina, Georgia, and the east coast of Florida.
- During the commercial closure, harvest or possession of Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel in or from the Atlantic southern zone is limited to the recreational bag and possession limits while the recreational sector is open.
- NOAA Fisheries was unable to implement any trip limit reductions prior to the commercial quota being harvested.
WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:
- The March 2020 through February 2021 commercial quota for the Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel southern zone is 2,667,330 pounds.
- Information provided to the Southeast Regional Office indicate that commercial landings for Spanish mackerel in the Atlantic southern zone are projected to reach the commercial quota. According to the accountability measure, harvest must close to prevent the quota from being exceeded.
AFTER THE CLOSURE:
- The prohibition on sale or purchase during a closure for Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel does not apply to fish that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 6:00 a.m., local time, February 3, 2021, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.
- 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, but not sell or purchase, Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel in the Atlantic southern zone under the recreational bag and possession limits, as long as the recreational sector is open.
This bulletin provides only a summary of the existing regulations. Full regulations can be found in the Federal Register or at https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=4a1c3805e95097423c9a607a31c4c9f8&rgn=div5&view=text&node=50:220.127.116.11.2&idno=50#sp50.12.622.q.
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Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707
Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750