Commercial Regulations for King Mackerel


Changes to the king mackerel fishery took effect in state and federal waters May 11, 2017. Approved changes include:

  • Setting the management boundary between the Gulf and Atlantic stocks to be at the Monroe/Miami-Dade county line year-round.  The boundary will no longer shift between seasons.
  • Clarify that commercial harvesters taking king mackerel north of the Monroe/Miami-Dade county line must adhere to federal commercial vessel limits when fishing in state waters.

The Atlantic federal quota is now split between two seasons.  Season 1 begins March 1 and Season 2 begins Oct. 1. 

Federal news:

When in doubt, check with NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Regional Office External Website to determine which zones are open to harvest.

King mackerel are divided into two separate fisheries: the Atlantic fishery (north of Miami-Dade/Monroe County line) and the Gulf-Atlantic fishery (south and west of the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line). Commercial trip limits vary by fishery, zone/region and season.

In both the Atlantic and Gulf-Atlantic fisheries, commercial harvesters must abide by federal king mackerel trip limits when fishing in state waters. Commercial harvest in state waters closes when harvest is closed in adjacent federal waters.

Minimum size limit: 24 inches fork length

Commercial license requirements: Saltwater products license, a restricted species endorsement and a federal king mackerel permit.

 King Mackerel boundary map


King Mackerel Vessel/Trip Limits

IMPORTANT: Contact NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Regional Office for up-to-date information about trip limits and closures.

Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, and Flagler counties

From March 1 (Federal Season 1) until the adjacent EEZ closes: 3,500-lb. vessel trip limit

From October 1 (Federal Season 2) until the adjacent EEZ closes: 3,500-lb. vessel trip limit

Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties

From March 1-31: 50 fish per vessel until the adjacent EEZ closes

From April 1 to Sept. 30 or until the adjacent EEZ closes: 75 fish per vessel

  • Vessel trip limit will decrease to 50 fish if 70% of Season 1’s federal quota is caught

From Oct. 1 to Feb. 28/29 or until the adjacent EEZ closes: 50 fish per vessel

  • Vessel trip limit may increase to 75 fish if less than 70% of Season 2’s federal quota has not been caught by Feb. 1

Monroe and Collier counties

From July 1 until the adjacent EEZ closes: 1250-lb. vessel trip limit

All Gulf coast counties except Collier and Monroe

From Oct. 1 until the adjacent EEZ closes: 1250-lb. vessel trip limit 

FWC Facts:
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