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January 22, 2018 6:20 am EST
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King mackerel commercial gillnet fishing in the southern Florida west coast subzone is closed, effective 12:01 p.m. (noon, local time) March 11, 2016, through 6 a.m. (local time) January 17, 2017. NOAA Fisheries has determined landings have reached the 551,448- pound commercial quota.

From November 1 through March 31, the southern subzone is that part of federal waters off Collier and Monroe Counties, Florida. Beginning April 1, the southern subzone is reduced to the area off Collier County, Florida.

No person aboard a vessel with a commercial king mackerel permit with a gillnet endorsement may fish for king mackerel using a run-around gillnet in the closed subzone after 12:01 p.m. on March 11, 2016. All king mackerel harvested using gillnets must be landed ashore and sold before this time. Also, no one on board a vessel possessing a gillnet with a stretched-mesh size of 4.75 inches (12.1 cm) or larger may fish for or possess king mackerel in this zone during the closure. The hook-andline component of the fishery remains open in this subzone at this time.

During the closure, no king mackerel caught in the closed subzone using a king mackerel gillnet may be purchased, bartered, traded, or sold. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to trade in king mackerel that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold before 12:01 p.m., March 11, 2016, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

For a person aboard a vessel to use a run-around gillnet for king mackerel in the southern Florida west coast subzone, a commercial vessel permit for king mackerel and a king mackerel gillnet endorsement must have been issued to the vessel and must be on board. A vessel for which a king mackerel gillnet endorsement has been issued may not retain king mackerel in or from federal waters harvested with any other gear.

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