NOAA Fisheries recently obtained preliminary data from the Atlantic mackerel stock assessment that showed an unexpected failure of the Atlantic mackerel stock to rebuild. The preliminary data also showed that the mackerel stock is no longer experiencing overfishing, which should be positive, but the update projections suggest that overfishing will occur in 2023 if the full Atlantic mackerel quota is landed. Therefore, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council requested that NOAA Fisheries take emergency action to reduce Atlantic mackerel catch for the remainder of 2023 and the beginning of 2024 until the 2024 specifications are implemented.
As a result, effective October 12, 2023, this rule implements interim per-trip catch limits of 20,000 lb for limited access vessels and 5,000 lb for open access vessels. These reduced catch limits will be in place until the 2024 specifications are implemented which will most likely occur in the spring.
For more information, please read the notice as filed in the Federal Register.
Contact Carly Bari at Carly.Bari@noaa.gov, (978) 281-9150
This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.