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W. Gulf Of Mexico Closed To King Mackerel Fishing

US - The western Gulf of Mexico zone will be closed to commercial king mackerel fishing from 12:00 noon 16 September, 2011, till 30 June, 2012.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationss (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service has determined that the 2011/2012 western zone commercial quota of 1.01 million pounds of king mackerel has been reached.

With this action, commercial king mackerel fishing is prohibited in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico from the US/Mexico border to the Alabama/Florida boundary.

Closure of the western Gulf of Mexico zone to commercial king mackerel fishing 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, Gulf states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama) are 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 king mackerel in or from federal waters of the closed zone.

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 for coastal migratory pelagic fish and a commercial king mackerel permit 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 zone 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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