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Equal commercial and recreational allocations for Atlantic group Spanish mackerel okayed.


Equal allocations for commercial and recreational harvesters of the Atlantic migratory group of Spanish mackerel have been approved, announced Joseph W. Angelovic, Acting Director, Southeast Region, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Reallocation procedures are contained in Amendment 4 to the Fisheries Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources prepared by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils. Resulting regulatory changes become effective 19 October 1989.

According to procedures prescribed in Amendment 4 to attain 50:50 shares of the total allowable catch (TAC), allocations for the 1989-90 fishing year have been adjusted to 3.24 (commercial) and 2.76 (recreational) million pounds. Annual adjustment of allocations for the Atlantic group Spanish mackerel will continue until parity is achieved, or until 1994 when the 50:50 ratio becomes effective automatically. This will be accomplished by prorating yearly increases to TAC above the 1988-89 level of 4.0 million pounds on a 10 percent commercial:90 percent recreational basis. Decreases to TAC will be distributed based on the most current allocation ratio. The adjusted 1989-90 allocations, resulting from a TAC increase from 4.0 to 6.0 million pounds, yield a 54:46 ratio, closely approximating the 50:50 target level. When TAC reaches or exceeds 6.6 million pounds equal shares will result.

The Councils developed Amendment 4 to eliminate early season harvest closures (zero bag limits) that negatively impact the recreational sector and to remove the inequities they perceived to be associated with the previous allocation ratio (76 percent commercial:24 percent recreational). They also expect improved management of the Atlantic group Spanish mackerel to result through increasing state/Federal compatibility. As affirmed by state representatives on the South Atlantic Council, states support this 50:50 reapportionment and will respond by implementing regulations compatible to Federal law.
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Publication:Marine Fisheries Review
Date:Sep 22, 1989
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