Increase in Atlantic King Mackerel Commercial Trip Limits in the Atlantic Southern Zone March 1-September 30

September 10, 2019

FB19-050: South Atlantic Fishery Bulletin; For more information, contact: Karla Gore 727-824-5305

KEY MESSAGE:

  • NOAA Fisheries announces an increase in commercial king mackerel trips limits in the Atlantic Southern Zone during Season 1 (March 1-September 30). 
  • During March each year, the commercial trip limit will increase from 50 to 75 fish between the Flagler/Volusia County, Florida, boundary and the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida, boundary. 
  • In addition, the commercial trip limit will increase from 75 fish to 3,500-pounds from April 1 through September 30 off Volusia County, Florida.
  • On September 1, 2019, the National Marine Fisheries Service reduced the trip limit from 75 to 50 fish south of Volusia County, Florida, to the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida, boundary because 75% of the Season 1 quota was landed.
  • Therefore, the trip limit will remain at 50 fish for the area south of Volusia County, Florida, through September 30.

 

WHEN RULE WILL TAKE EFFECT:

  • These changes to the commercial trip limits will be effective on September 11, 2019.

 

WHAT THIS MEANS:

  • Commercial trip limits are changing as a result of Framework Amendment 6 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region.
  • For the month of March, between the Flagler/Volusia County, Florida, boundary and the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida, boundary, the king mackerel commercial trip limit will be 75 fish.  
  • Between April 1 and September 30, the trip limit will be 3,500-pounds off Volusia County, Florida.
  • There are no changes to the current April 1 through September 30 trip limit south of Volusia County, Florida, to the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida, boundary.

 

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

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

 

Why are these actions needed?

  • Following the implementation of Amendment 26, fishermen on the Florida east coast expressed concern about the new trip limits, especially the Season 1 trip limits in federal waters off Volusia County, Florida. 
    • Comments from stakeholders indicated that fishermen operating out of Volusia County travel farther offshore to target Atlantic king mackerel and often complete multi-day trips, and the 50-fish trip limit in March makes it challenging to earn enough money to pay for the cost of a trip, potentially causing undue hardship to fishermen and communities. 
    • In response to these concerns, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council developed Framework Amendment 6 to modify the Season 1 Atlantic king mackerel trip limits in the Atlantic Southern Zone. 
  • The trip limit system for the Atlantic Southern Zone was implemented on May 11, 2017, through the final rule to implement Amendment 26 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan) (Amendment 26). 
  • Currently, in the Atlantic Southern Zone, a 3,500-pound trip limit is in effect for federal waters north of the Flagler/Volusia County, Florida, boundary (29º25’ N), during all of Season 1; Framework Amendment 6 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan does not change that trip limit. 

 

Where can I find more information on the framework amendment and rule?

  • Contact NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

By Mail:  Karla Gore

NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

Sustainable Fisheries Division

263 13th Avenue South

St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505

By Phone:  (727) 824-5305

By FAX:  (727) 824-5308

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Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on September 10, 2019