Chub Mackerel Amendment

 Photo Credit: Alessandro Duci

Photo Credit: Alessandro Duci

Overview

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has initiated an amendment to consider adding Atlantic chub mackerel (Scomber colias) to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squids, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The amendment will consider potential catch limits, accountability measures, and other conservation and management measures required for stocks to be considered “in the fishery.” This action is needed to achieve optimum yield for, and prevent overfishing of, Atlantic chub mackerel in United States Exclusive Economic Zone.

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 are the first regulations on chub mackerel fisheries off the east coast. These measures are temporary and will expire three years after implementation. The Chub Mackerel Amendment aims to develop alternatives for longer-term management of chub mackerel fisheries to ensure sustainability. 

Contact

Julia Beaty, (302) 526-5250, jbeaty@mafmc.org

Action Status

Updates are listed in reverse chronoloical order. 

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 and received 10,523 scoping comments, 55 of which were unique comments (as opposed to signatures on form letters). A summary of these comments, scoping hearing transcripts, and all written comments are available here. Hearing transcripts and individual comments are available here.

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