NOAA Fisheries Service will re-open the Western Zone of the Gulf of Mexico to commercial fishing for king mackerel effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) November 1, 2013, and the season will remain open for two days, closing at 12:01 a.m. (local time) November 3, 2013.
The Western Zone is from the U.S./Mexico border to the Alabama/Florida boundary. Gulf states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama) are expected to re-open adjoining state waters at the same time.
After midnight on November 2, 2013, the Western Zone will close again and remain closed until July 1, 2014, when the new fishing season begins. 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 during the reopening and held in cold storage by a dealer or processor may still be sold.
Logo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration