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NOAA Fisheries Announces 2016-18 Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish Fisheries Measures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 26, 2016

NOAA Fisheries announces the 2016-18 management measures for the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish fisheries. 

Atlantic Mackerel Fishery

As of May 26, we are decreasing the Atlantic mackerel commericial quota to 9,177 mt  and the recreational quota to 614 mt because catches have remained low since 2011,and the last stock assessment for mackerel was in 2010. Without a new stock assessment the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee decided to base the 2016-18 Acceptable Biological Catch on 50% of the long-term median catch.

To keep the catch cap on river herring and shad in the mackerel fishery proportional with the quota, we are reducing it from 89 mt to 82 mt.

Squid and Butterfish Management Controls

This action requires longfin squid and butterfish moratorium permit holders to use 3-inch mesh when possessing more than 5,000 lbs, up from 2,500 lbs, and clarifies that 5-inch (square or diamond) or greater strengtheners may be used outside the 3-inch mesh to avoid breaking nets during large hauls. These measures go into effect on May 26.

As of April 26, vessels with a longfin squid and butterfish moratorium permit are no longer required to call into the Pre-Trip Notification System (PTNS).

For more information on these management measures, read the final rule as filed in the Federal Register today and the fishery bulletin pdf posted on our website. 

Questions? Contact Jennifer Goebel at 978-281-9175 or jennifer.goebel@noaa.gov.