skip to main content | skip to footer
North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 17 King Mackerel SSR 2014

Marine Fisheries

King Mackerel

King Mackerel - 2014

Stock Status – Concern– Based on the 2008 South Atlantic Fishery Management Council stock assessment, the South Atlantic king mackerel stock is not overfished. It is uncertain whether overfishing is occurring; however, if it is, it is occurring at a low level. A new assessment is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2014.
Average Commercial Landings and Value 2004-2013 – 763,974 lbs./$1,426,584

2013 Commercial Landings and Value – 345,177 lbs./$877,497 (quota managed)

Average Recreational Landings 2004-2013 – 989,373 lbs., 2013 – 215,585 lbs.

Average Number of Award Citations (30 lbs. or 45 inches) 2004-2013 – 189, 2013 – 143

Status of Fishery Management Plan – In North Carolina, king mackerel are currently included in the Interjurisdictional Fishery Management Plan, which defers to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council compliance requirements and is currently managed under Amendment 18 (2011) to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan. The amendment established annual catch limits, annual catch targets and accountability measures for South Atlantic king mackerel. Management measures include commercial and recreational quotas, minimum size limits, commercial trip limits, recreational bag limits, gear restrictions and commercial permit moratorium. Charter/headboat operators must possess a charter/headboat vessel permit for coastal migratory pelagics and must comply with recreational bag limits. Amendments 20A and 20B to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan were approved in 2013 and will become effective in late 2014. Management measures include elimination of bag limit sales (with an exception for state-permitted tournaments), elimination of commercial permit income requirements, and establishment of regional commercial quotas.

Research and Data Needs – Bycatch mortality estimates in the directed shrimp fishery, fishery independent methods of monitoring stock size and estimates of Atlantic and Gulf stock mixing rates in south Florida

2013 Regulations – 24 inches fork length (FL), 3 fish/day for recreational anglers; 3,500-pound commercial trip limit

Harvest Season – Open year round, based on a fishing year spanning March 1 to February 28/29 – Commercial and recreational fisheries can close when the total allowable catch is reached.

Size and Age at Maturity – 28 inches FL/2–3 years

Historical and Current Maximum Age – 26 years/23 years

Juvenile Abundance Index – Not available

Habits and Habitats – King mackerel are considered coastal pelagic, meaning they live in the open waters near the coast. They make inshore and offshore migrations triggered by water temperature and prey availability. In the winter and early spring, king mackerel congregate just inside the Gulf Stream along the edge of the Continental Shelf. During the summer and fall, they move inshore along the beaches and near the mouths of inlets and coastal rivers. They prefer water temperatures between 68º and 78º F.

^Citation release length requirement reduced from 50 inches to 45 inches in 2008

For more information, contact Randy Gregory at Randy.Gregory@ncdenr.gov or 800-682-2632 or 252-726-7021.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

NCDMF logo

Print
38337 FEEDBACK

Your input is valuable to us. Please send us your feedback.

What type of feedback would you like to send?*

Ask a Question Report a Problem Have a Concern Make a Comment

(If you would like us to respond please include your phone or e-mail.)

Your Question has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Problem has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Concern has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Comment has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

*If you are a DENR employee with an I.T. issue, please submit a DOTS ticket.