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King Mackerel Gillnet Fishing Closed for Year in S. Florida W. Coast Subzone

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US - The king mackerel commercial run-around gillnet component of the coastal migratory pelagic fishery in the southern Florida west coast subzone is closed, effective January 29, 2014, through 6 a.m. (local time) January 20, 2015.

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NOAA Fisheries has determined the 551,448-pound commercial quota has been met. With this action, king mackerel commercial gillnet fishing is prohibited in the Gulf of Mexico off Collier and Monroe Counties, from a line directly west of the Lee/Collier county line on the west coast of Florida (26o19'48'' N latitude) south and east to a line directly east of the Monroe/Miami-Dade county line on the east coast of Florida (25o20'24'' N latitude).

Closure of this subzone to commercial king mackerel gillnet fishing is necessary to protect the Gulf group king mackerel resource.

No person aboard a vessel with a commercial king mackerel permit with a gillnet endorsement may fish for king mackerel using a run-around gillnet in the closed subzone after 12:01 p.m. on January 29, 2014.

All king mackerel harvested using gillnets must be landed ashore and sold before this time. Also, no one on board a vessel possessing a gillnet with a stretched-mesh size of 4.75 inches (12.1 cm) or larger may fish for or possess king mackerel in this zone during the closure. The hook-and-line component of the fishery remains open in this subzone during this time.

During the closure, no king mackerel caught in the closed subzone using a gillnet may be purchased, bartered, traded, or sold. The prohibition on sale or purchase, however, does not apply to trade in king mackerel that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold before 12:01 p.m., January 29, 2014, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

For a person aboard a vessel to use a run-around gillnet for king mackerel in the southern Florida west coast subzone, a commercial vessel permit for king mackerel and a king mackerel gillnet endorsement must have been issued to the vessel and must be on board. A vessel for which a king mackerel gillnet endorsement has been issued may not retain king mackerel in or from federal waters harvested with any other gear.

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