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Florida King Mackerel Fishing To Close

US - Commercial king mackerel fishing is to close in the northern Florida west coast subzone on the 7 October.

Harvest of king mackerel will be prohibited beginning 12:01 am, local time, 7 October, 2011, for commercial vessels fishing in the northern Florida west coast subzone.

NOAA Fisheries Service has determined the 2011/2012 commercial quota of 168,750 pounds of king mackerel from this subzone has been reached.

The closure will remain in effect through the end of the fishing year, 30 June, 2012.

The northern Florida west coast subzone is located in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico north of 2619.8' N lattitude (a line directly west from the Lee/Collier County, Florida, boundary) and east of 8731.1' W long. (a line directly south from the Alabama/Florida boundary).

Prohibition of commercial king mackerel fishing in the Gulf of Mexico northern Florida west coast subzone complies with regulations implemented under the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic and is necessary to protect the Gulf group king mackerel resource.

In cooperative actions, the state of Florida is expected to close commercial harvest of king mackerel concurrently in adjoining state waters.

During the closure period, no person aboard a vessel for which a commercial permit for king mackerel has been issued may fish for or retain Gulf group king mackerel in federal waters of the closed subzone.

There is one exception, however, for a person aboard a charter vessel or headboat.

A person aboard a vessel that has a valid charter/headboat permit and also has a commercial king mackerel permit for coastal migratory pelagic fish may continue to retain king mackerel in or from the closed subzone under the two-fish daily bag limit, provided the vessel is operating as a charter vessel or headboat.

Charter vessels or headboats that hold a commercial king mackerel permit are considered to be operating as a charter vessel or headboat when they carry a passenger who pays a fee or when more than three persons are aboard, including operator and crew.

During the closure, no king mackerel caught in the closed subzone may be purchased, bartered, traded, or sold.

This includes recreational and tournament-caught fish. The prohibition of sale, however, does not apply to trade in king mackerel that were harvested, landed ashore and bartered, traded, or sold before the closure and held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

the Fish Site Editor

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