NOAA Fisheries has published a final rule to implement Framework Amendment 1 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Region. The proposed rule published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2014 (79 FR 44369) and the comment period ended on September 2, 2014. The final rule for Framework Amendment 1 published in the Federal Register (79 FR 69058) on November 20, 2014, and will be effective on December 22, 2014.
Recent stock assessments for Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic migratory groups of Spanish mackerel indicate the stocks are healthy. A review of the assessments by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committees indicate catch levels can be modified.
The final rule increases the combined commercial and recreational catch limit for Spanish mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico from 5.15 million pounds to 12.7 million pounds in 2014-2015, and then to 11.8 million pounds in 2015-2016, and 11.3 million pounds in 2016-2017 and subsequent years.
In the South Atlantic, the rule increases the catch limit for Spanish mackerel from 5.69 million pounds to 6.063 million pounds; with 3.330 million pounds (55%) allocated to the commercial sector and 2.727 million pounds (45%) allocated to the recreational sector.
Framework Amendment 1 may be obtained from:
- The NOAA Fisheries Web site http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/cmp/2014/framework_am1/index.html.
- The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Web site at http://www.safmc.net.
For more information on Framework Amendment 1, please click on this link to the Frequently Asked Questions found at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/cmp/2014/framework_am1/index.html