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Final Rule for King, Spanish Mackerel in South Atlantic Published

Sustainability Politics +2 more

US - NOAA Fisheries has published a final rule to implement a South Atlantic Coastal Migratory Pelagics Framework Amendment.

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The Final Rule for the Framework Amendment will:

  • Allow Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel, harvested with gillnet gear in the South Atlantic in excess of the trip limit, to be transferred to another federally permitted vessel that has not yet harvested the trip limit. This provision would be allowed under certain conditions:
    • Transfer takes place in federal waters between vessels with valid Spanish mackerel commercial permits.
    • The receiving vessel may possess no more than three gillnets on board after transfer is complete.
    • All fish exceeding the applicable daily vessel limit shall remain entangled in the meshes of the net until transfer.
    • The quantity of fish transferred to any single vessel shall not exceed the applicable daily trip limit.
    • Only one transfer per vessel per day would be allowed.
    • Call-in would be required for both vessels engaged in the transfer: NOAA Fisheries Port Orange Law Enforcement Office (386) 492-6686.
  • Modify the king mackerel trip limit in the east coast Florida subzone as follows:
    • From November 1 through the end of February, the trip limit is not to exceed 50 fish per trip.
    • Beginning on March 1 and continuing through March 31, if 70 per cent or more of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) group Florida east coast subzone quota has been harvested, the trip limit would remain 50 fish per trip. If less than 70 per cent of the Gulf group Florida east coast subzone quota has been harvested, the trip limit would increase to 75 fish per trip.