Atlantic Mackerel Rebuilding Framework with Specifications

A recent stock assessment found Atlantic mackerel to be overfished with overfishing occurring. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requires fishery management councils to develop rebuilding plans for all overfished stocks. The Council intends to address rebuilding through a framework action to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). At the August 2018 Council Meeting the Council approved a Framework Adjustment to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP projected to rebuild mackerel in five years (by 2023). The framework also includes Atlantic mackerel specifications for 2019-2021.

Contact: Jason Didden, (302) 526-5254, jdidden@mafmc.org.

Timeline

April 2018 Council Meeting: The Council met for the first framework meeting to review an initial range of alternatives. The Council endorsed further development of catch options that are projected to rebuild Atlantic mackerel in 3, 5, or 7 years, along with associated management measures.

August 2018 Council Meeting: The Council took final action on this framework, approving measures to rebuild mackerel in five years (by 2023). The framework also includes Atlantic mackerel specifications for 2019-2021. After proactively reducing mackerel catch limits by 91% from 2010 to 2016, the Acceptable Biological Catches (ABCs) for the first three years of the rebuilding period would be 29,184 MT, 32,480 MT, and 33,747 MT, translating into an increase in the commercial quota from 9,177 MT in 2018 to 17,371 MT in 2019, with slightly higher quotas in 2020 and 2021. The Council anticipates that an updated stock assessment will be available in 2020 to evaluate early rebuilding progress.

Documents

Meetings