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NOAA Fisheries Requests Comments on a Proposed Rule to Revise the Gulf of Mexico Migratory Group King Mackerel Gillnet Component Fishing Season

July 17, 2023

FB23-046: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Bulletin. For more information, contact: Kelli O'Donnell; (727) 824-5305, Kelli.ODonnell@noaa.gov

Key Messages:

  • NOAA Fisheries is requesting public comments on the proposed rule for Framework Amendment 12 under the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region. 
  • The proposed rule would:
    • Remove the weekend and holiday closure for the gillnet component for Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel, and
    • Retain the fishing season start date the Tuesday after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.   
  • NOAA Fisheries requests your comments regarding the changes the proposed rule would make to Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel gillnet component management in federal waters.  Comments are due by August 16, 2023.
  • Comments on the proposed rule will be considered in the final rule. 


How to Comment On the Proposed Rule:

The comment period for the proposed rule is open now through August 16, 2023.  You may submit comments by electronic submission or by postal mail.  Comments sent by any other method (such as e-mail), to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries. 

Formal Federal Register Name/Number:  88 FR 45384, published July 17, 2023.


Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. 

1. Go to: https://www.regulations.gov/document/NOAA-NMFS-2023-0075-0002  

2. Click the "Comment" icon, complete the required fields.

3. Enter or attach your comments.

Mail: Submit written comments to Kelli O’Donnell, Southeast Regional Office, NOAA Fisheries, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is NOAA Fisheries announcing today?

  • NOAA Fisheries is announcing a public comment period for Framework Amendment 12 to revise the Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel gillnet component fishing season.
  • The comment period on the proposed rule is open from July 17, 2023, through August 16, 2023.
  • This action would remove the weekend and holiday closure for the gillnet component for Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel while retaining the fishing season start date the Tuesday after Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.


What is the purpose of modifying the gillnet component fishing season?

  • While most fleets would want to extend their fishing season, the objective of the gillnet component is to complete its fishing season as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that those vessels may then resume fishing for stone crab and spiny lobster. 
  • The current seasonal closure limits the time available to fish due to how the gillnet component is prosecuted and lengthy offload times. 
  • Due to the current and demonstrably effective working relationship between NOAA Fisheries and the gillnet component participants, and the post-season accountability measure, these fishermen have requested removal of the subsequent weekend and observed federal holiday closures after the fishing season opens on the Tuesday after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in January.
  • The post-season accountability measure deducts any overage of the gillnet quota from the following year’s quota and provides an incentive for gillnet component participants to not exceed the quota.


Why is the gillnet component fishing season being modified?

  • The removal of the weekend and holiday closures would allow the gillnet component to be more efficient by allowing participants to harvest the gillnet quota as quickly as possible and return to harvesting other species. 
  • The fishing season weekend closures were intended to prevent large gillnet quota overages.  However, for the last ten years, the gillnet fleet has cooperated with the NOAA Fisheries and voluntarily stopped fishing when they are close to landing the quota.  They then wait for NOAA Fisheries to inform them if they can continue fishing or if the fishing season will be closing. 
  • Due to the low number of participants in the gillnet component, their practice has been successful and it is expected to continue. 


Where can I find more information on Framework Amendment 12?

  • Contact NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

By Mail: Kelli O’Donnell

NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

Sustainable Fisheries Division

263 13th Avenue South

St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505

By FAX: (727) 824-5308

By Phone: (727) 824-5305

Sign Up for Text Message Alerts - Find Out About Immediate Openings and Closures

NOAA's Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery-related alerts via text message (SMS).  Standard message & data rates may apply.  You may opt-out at any time.


Text alerts you may receive include:

  • Immediate fishery openings and closures
  • Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly


Sign up for one or more of the following groups:

  • Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
  • Caribbean Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text CARIBFISH to 888777


Quick Glance Contact List for the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office


Permits Mailbox: The Permits Office in St. Petersburg, Florida, now has a Permits mailbox in the front lobby (263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701).  You can now drop off original permits for permit transfers.  Envelopes with information labels will be provided so that your documents can be attached to the correct application.  The mailbox will be checked daily.  For more information, contact the Permits Office at 877-376-4877.


Other contacts:

Media: Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750

Recreational Fishing Coordinator: Sean Meehan, 727-385-5202

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on July 17, 2023