February 24, 2017 — The following was released by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council:
- The daily vessel trip limit will remain at 50 fish per day for commercial hook-and-line vessels fishing for Gulf group king mackerel in federal waters of the Florida east coast subzone.
- The 50-fish daily trip limit will remain in effect until March 31, 2017, unless the subzone’s quota is reached.
- If the 1,102,896-pound quota is harvested during February or March 2017, the subzone will be closed and the daily trip limit will be reduced to zero king mackerel until the 2016/2017 season ends on March 31, 2017.
- From November 1 through March 31, the Florida east coast subzone for Gulf group king mackerel is the area north of a line directly east from the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida, boundary (25° 20.4′ N. lat. ), and south of a line directly east from the Volusia/Flagler County, Florida, boundary (29° 25′ N. lat. ). See map below.
WHY THIS TRIP LIMIT IS REMAINING THE SAME:
By regulations, if 70 percent of the quota for this subzone has not been harvested by March 1, the trip limit increases to 75 fish. However, NOAA Fisheries determined that more than 70 percent (or 772,027 pounds) of the 1,102,896-pound quota has been harvested for this fishery segment as of February 21, 2017. Therefore, the trip limit will not increase.
**PLEASE NOTE: Under the Florida regulations, the daily trip limit for king mackerel harvested in state waters off the east coast of Florida will also remain at 50 fish per day.