WASHINGTON, D.C. – The federal government is shutting down a chunk of the Atlantic Ocean fishery for a species of mackerel for several months.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says commercial harvest of the Atlantic’s migratory Spanish mackerel in federal waters is shut down until March 1. The closure went into effect on Nov. 4.
The closure applies from North Carolina to New York. Over the years, Spanish mackerel have been harvested from Florida to Maine, though the northern edge of the fishery is typically closer to Rhode Island. The biggest producer is Florida.
Fishery regulators say commercial catch of the fish is projected to reach the quota limit, which means harvest must close. Spanish mackerel are harvested for food and are sometimes used in sushi.