The closure was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service, that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.07 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico would soon be met. The commercial fishing season for king mackerel closed in federal waters at noon on October 17.
Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries. According to the best information available, the 1.07 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico was harvested or projected to be harvested.
The commercial king mackerel season in Louisiana waters has previously been closed on March 27, 2009 (08-09 season), Sept. 12, 2009 (09-10 season), Feb.11, 2011 (10-11 season), Sept.16, 2011 (11-12 season), Aug.22, 2012 (12-13 season), and Sept. 20, 2013 (13-14 season).
While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery does exist, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports. A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.