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NOAA Requests Comments on a Proposed Rule to Revise the Gulf of Mexico Migratory Group King Mackerel Catch Limits

October 07, 2022

FB22-062: 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 11 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region. 
  • The proposed rule would:
    • Modify the units used to monitor Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel landings from the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Coastal Household Telephone Survey to the MRIP Fishing Effort Survey,
    • Specify a new overfishing limit and acceptable biological catch (Tables 1 and 2),
    • Revise Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel annual catch limits (Tables 1 and 2)
  • NOAA Fisheries requests your comments regarding the changes the proposed rule would make to Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel management in federal waters.  Comments are due by November 7, 2022.
  • Comments on the proposed rule will be considered in the final rule. 
  • Although the most recent population assessment did not show Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel was being overfished (the populations is too low) or undergoing overfishing (too many fish being caught), it did show that recruitment (larvae showing up in plankton surveys) has been low in recent years. 

 

Table 1.  Current and proposed overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC), total annual catch limit (ACL), recreational sector ACL, and commercial sector total ACL in pounds landed weight.** 

 

OFL

ABC

Total ACL

Recreational ACL

Commercial Total ACL

Current

8,950,000

8,550,000

8,550,000

5,810,000

2,740,000

Current MRIP-FES equivalent

11,960,000

11,540,000

11,540,000

7,847,200

 

Proposed 2022/2023

11,050,000

9,720,000

9,720,000

6,609,600

3,110,400

Proposed 2023/2024+

11,180,000

9,990,000

9,990,000

6,793,200

3,196,800

 

**Note that current recreational portion of the annual catch limits and annual catch targets are in MRIP-Coastal Household Telephone Survey units and the proposed recreational portion of the annual catch limits and annual catch targets are in MRIP-Fishing Effort Survey units. 

 

Table 2.  Current and proposed commercial total ACL and commercial zone ACLs in pounds landed weight. HL = hook and line; GN = gillnet.

 

Commercial Total

Western Zone HL

Northern Zone HL

Southern Zone HL

HL Total

Southern Zone GN

Current

2,740,000

1,096,000

493,200

575,400

2,164,600

575,400

Proposed 2022/2023

3,110,400

1,244,160

559,872

653,184

2,457,216

653,184

Proposed 2023/2024+

3,196,800

1,278,720

575,424

671,328

2,525,472

671,328

 

How to Comment On the Proposed Rule:

The comment period for the Proposed Rule is open now through November 7, 2022.  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:  87 FR 60975, published October 7, 2022.

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

1. Go to: https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/NOAA-NMFS-2022-0078-0002

2. If you don't see a "Comment" icon, hit the "Browse Documents" icon.

3. Click the "Comment" icon for the proposed rule; complete the required fields.

4. Enter or attach your comments.

Mail: Submit written comments to Kelli O’Donnell, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 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 11 to revise the Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel catch limits.
  • The comment period on the proposed rule is open from October 7, 2022, through November 7, 2022.
  • This action would set the Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel population overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC), total annual catch limit (ACL), and sector ACLs consistent with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee’s and Council’s recommendations. 

 

Why are the catch limits being reduced?

  • The most recent Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review population assessment for Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel, known as the SEDAR 38 Update, showed the population was not overfished (the populations is too low) or undergoing overfishing (too many fish being caught), it did show that recruitment (larvae showing up in plankton surveys) has been low in recent years. 
  • SEDAR 38 Update used updated recreational catch and effort data from the MRIP Fishing Effort Survey, which estimated larger than previously calculated catch and effort for the recreational sector. 
  • Because MRIP Fishing Effort Survey data were used, estimates of historic recreational landings were greater than in previous assessments.
  • The “increase” in the recommended catch limits compared to the current catch limits is largely a result of converting the recreational catch and effort data to the MRIP Fishing Effort Survey data currency.  Had the MRIP Fishing Effort Survey data been available for SEDAR 38 and the subsequent ABC recommendations in 2014, the current ABC recommendations represent an approximate 19% reduction.
  • The Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee recommended a reduction in the overfishing limit and acceptable biological catch to address decreased recruitment.

 

What are the proposed sector catch limits and how were they determined?

  • The Gulf of Mexico migratory group king mackerel population ACL was set equal to the ABC.
  • The recreational sector is allocated 68% of the total ACL and the commercial sector is allocated 32%.
  • The commercial sector is further allocated by zones as follows: Western (40%), Northern (18%), and Southern Zone (42%) with the Southern Zone being split into hook and line (21%) and gillnet components (21%).

 

Where can I find more information on Framework Amendment 11?

  • 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


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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:

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Sign up for one or more of the following groups:

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  • Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
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  • South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
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Quick Glance Contact List for the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office

 

Other contacts:

Media: Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on October 07, 2022