NOAA Fisheries will close the northern Florida west coast subzone to commercial fishing for king mackerel effective 12:01 a.m., local time, October 5, 2012. The commercial quota of 197,064 pounds for this zone is projected to be reached by this date. This subzone is located in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico east of the Alabama/Florida state line and along Florida's west coast to the Lee/Collier County line.
During the closure, no commercial fisherman may fish for or keep king mackerel in or from the closed zone. There is an exception for people aboard a vessel that has a charter/headboat permit for coastal migratory pelagic fish and a commercial king mackerel permit. Those people may keep the 2-fish per person daily king mackerel bag limit from the closed zone, if the vessel is operating as a charter vessel or headboat. Vessels 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 people are aboard, including operator and crew.
During the closure, no king mackerel caught in the closed zone may be bought, sold, or traded. This includes recreational and tournament-caught fish. King mackerel that were traded or sold before the closure and held in cold storage by a dealer or processor may still be sold.
This summary is not a substitute for the actual regulations. We encourage you to read the full text of the regulations, available at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.
To view a complete list of Fishery Bulletins, visit the NOAA Fisheries' Southeast RegionalOffice website athttp://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.
This announcement is forwarded as a courtesy of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
About Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.