King mackerel rules in place

North Carolina Marine Fisheries Proclamation FF-28-2022 established management measures for the commercial and recreational harvest of king mackerel in N.C. Coastal Fishing Waters in compliance with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan.

The proclamation was effective Saturday, April 16, 2022.

Size Limit: unlawful to possess king mackerel less than 24 inches in commercial operations and recreationally.

Gear: North of Cape Lookout, gill nets are a legal gear in the commercial king mackerel fishery, see 50 CFR §622.375(a)(1)(i). The amendment and final rule implementing the regulations are located at safmc.net/fishery-management-plans-amendments/coastal-migratory-pelagics/.

Commercial harvest limits: three king mackerel per person per day by hook and line except for persons holding a valid National Marine Fisheries Service King Mackerel Commercial Vessel Permit; must have a valid National Marine Fisheries Service King Mackerel Commercial Vessel Permit; can’t possess or land more than 3,500 pounds of Spanish or king mackerel, in the aggregate, in any one day.

Recreation harvest limit: three king mackerel per person per day.

Note: Amendment 26 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagics “allows for limited retention and sale of king mackerel caught incidental to directed commercial shark fishing with gill nets by vessels that hold both valid federal Commercial Directed Shark and Commercial King Mackerel Permits. This exemption only applies to directed shark fishing activities south of Cape Lookout, where gill nets are not an allowable gear in the king mackerel fishery.”

States the proclamation: “The intent of this proclamation is to allow harvest of king mackerel in compliance with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagics.”

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