NOAA Fisheries closed the Western Zone of the Gulf of Mexico to commercial fishing for king mackerel effective 12:00 noon (local time) October 14, 2016. The commercial quota of 1,071,360 pounds for this zone is projected to be reached by this date. The Western Zone is in federal waters from the U.S./Mexico border to the Alabama/Florida boundary. Gulf states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama) are expected to close adjoining state waters at the same time. The closure will remain in effect until the end of the fishing year, June 30, 2017.
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 two-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
NOAA Fisheries Southeast is pleased to announce the introduction of our Text Message Alert Program. The program will allow you to sign up to receive important fishery related alerts via text message. Text alerts you may receive include immediate fishery openings and closures, and any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly.
How to opt-in
Sign up for related alerts for one or more of the following groups. Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.
Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries: Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries: Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries: Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries: Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
Caribbean Fisheries: Text CARIBFISH to 888777
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.