Chub Mackerel Amendment

Photo Credit: Alessandro Duci

Photo Credit: Alessandro Duci


In March 2019, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved an amendment to add Atlantic chub mackerel (Scomber colias) to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Approved measures include catch limits, accountability measures, and other conservation and management measures required for stocks “in the fishery.” This amendment has not yet been approved or implemented by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

In August 2016, the Council approved an annual landings limit and a possession limit for chub mackerel as part of the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment. Implemented September 27, 2017, these were the first regulations on chub mackerel fisheries off the east coast. These measures are temporary and will expire after December 31, 2020. The Chub Mackerel Amendment includes alternatives for longer-term management of chub mackerel fisheries to ensure sustainability. 


Julia Beaty, (302) 526-5250,

Action Status

Updates are listed in reverse chronological order. 

March 2019: The Council selected preferred alternatives. Click here for a summary of preferred alternatives.

December 2018/January 2019: The Council held five public hearings to collect public input on the draft Chub Mackerel Amendment. Click here for more information.

October 2018: The Council approved a range of management alternatives for inclusion in the amendment.

July 2018: The Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee approved an Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) level for upcoming years. Click here for more information.

January 2018: The Council released a Request for Proposals for a study to assess the importance of Atlantic chub mackerel to the diets of recreationally-important highly migratory species. 

December 2017: The Council reviewed a summary of scoping comments, recent fishery information, a summary of a webinar on the importance of chub mackerel in the diets of recreationally-important highly migratory species, data needs regarding chub mackerel management, and a timeline for completion of the chub mackerel amendment.

May 2017: The Council held six public scoping hearings.

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Listed in reverse chronological order