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Final Rule for 2021-2023 Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish Specifications

July 21, 2021

This final rule sets the 2021-2023 fishing year quotas in the Atlantic mackerel, chub mackerel, longfin squid, Illex squid, and butterfish fisheries, as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

NOAA Fisheries finalizes the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish quotas for the 2021-2023 fishing year and reaffirms 2021 chub mackerel specifications as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

This action:

  • Maintains the 2020 specifications through 2022 for Atlantic mackerel (19,184 mt acceptable biological catch (ABC)), through 2021 for Illex squid (30,000 mt ABC), and through 2023 for longfin squid (23,400 mt ABC).
  • Reduces the butterfish allowable catch by 72 percent, from the current 22,752 mt to 6,350 mt in for the remainder of 2021. Given recent catch trends, this reduction is not expected to negatively impact the commercial fishing industry. 
  • Maintains the 3,884 mt butterfish catch cap in the longfin squid fishery.
  • Implements 48-hour Illex reporting after July 15 for commercial dealers for the remainder of the fishing year. Tthe current requirement is weekly reporting.
  • Increases the Illex squid ABC from the 30,000 mt ABC in the proposed rule to 33,000 mt in the final rule.
  • Changes the Illex closure threshold to 94 percent from 95 percent.
  • Reaffirms the previously approved 2021 through 2022 chub mackerel specifications.

Final 2021-2023 Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Specifications

Final 2021-2022 Atlantic Mackerel Specifications

Specification

Metric Tons (mt)

U.S. ABC/Annual Catch Limit (ACL)

19,184

Recreational Allocation

1,270

Commercial Allocation

17,914

Domestic Annual Harvest (DAH)

17,312

 

 

Final 2021-2023 Longfin Squid Specifications

Specification

Metric Tons (mt)

ABC

23,400

Initial Optimum Yield

22,932

DAH

22,932

 

Final 2021 Illex Squid Specifications

Specification

Metric Tons (mt)

Overfishing Limit

Not Available

ABC

33,000

Commercial Discard Set-Aside

4.61%

IOY/DAH

31,478

 

Final 2021-2022 Butterfish Specifications (mt).

Specification

2021

2022

ABC/ACL

11,993

17,854

Annual Catch Target

(Commercial)

11,393

16,961

Total Discard Set-aside

(all sources)*

5,043

5,466

DAH

6,350

11,495

Change from 2020 DAH

-72%

-49%


*Total discard set-aside includes the 3,884-mt butterfish discard cap in the longfin squid fishery

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on July 21, 2021