NOAA Fisheries announces the final rule to implement Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagics of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region. This final rule removes Atlantic cobia from the fishery management plan. Atlantic cobia is now managed under the purview of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission because the majority of Atlantic cobia landings are in state waters.
WHEN RULE WILL TAKE EFFECT:
- The final rule is effective on March 21, 2019.
WHAT THIS MEANS:
- Atlantic cobia is no longer managed under the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan.
- Regulations in federal waters will be implemented through the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act.
- Most existing management measures in federal waters for commercial and recreational harvest of Atlantic cobia from Georgia through New York do not change through this rule.
- For the commercial sector, the minimum size limit is 33 inches fork length and the trip limit is two fish per person per day or six fish per vessel per day, whichever is more restrictive.
- For the recreational sector, the minimum size limit is 36 inches fork length and the bag and vessel limits are one fish per person per day or six fish per vessel per day, whichever is more restrictive. For both sectors, persons harvesting Atlantic cobia must comply with more restrictive size limits, bag limits, and possession limits in the states where the fish are landed.
- Fishermen should contact the state for regulations in state waters.