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23 Jul

Spanish and King Mackerel Regulations Possibly On the Horizon For East Coast

With saltwater fishing regulations by the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries and the state’s increasing impact of commercial oyster farming, saltwater fishermen are wondering what’s next. These issues combined with fears of restrictions driven by offshore wind turbans, and the slowing of boat speeds for bigger boats to preserve the Right Whales, are becoming overwhelming and concerning for inshore and offshore anglers. Just when North Carolina saltwater fishermen thought the fishing could not get more restrictive, the agency came forward with what will be yet another problem.

Recently, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council announced that the agency would be holding a series of “Port Meetings” that target both Spanish and King Mackerel. This meeting will take place from April 2024 through November 2024 with North Carolina being the first stop.

Fishermen along the Atlantic are wondering what their fishing future holds when it comes to offshore. This latest news is especially concerning for North Carolina’s angling population which has seen increased regulations for species such as Flounder and Stripped Bass as well as Striped Mullet, that serves as a popular fishing bait for the state’s coastal fishermen, and now the issue with Spanish and King Mackerel fishing. While it’s only at the meeting level currently, it’s a start that has already created a substantial concern for the North Carolina coastal fishing community. This group of sportsmen have seen little or no good news in the past years from North Carolina’s saltwater fisheries. All eyes are watching with intensity as this latest event moves forward.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will be holding public meetings in North Carolina at the following times and locations:

April 1, 2024 – 6pm to 8pm
North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries
Southern District Office
127 Cardinal Drive Extension
Wilmington, NC 28405

April 2, 2024 – 6pm to 8pm
North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries
Central District Office
5285 Highway 70 West
Morehead City, NC 28557

April 3, 2024 – 6pm to 8pm
Hatteras Village Civic Center
6658 North Carolina Hwy 12
Hatteras, NC 27943.

April 4, 2024 – 6pm to 8pm
Dare County Administrative Building
Board of Commissioners Meeting Room
954 Marshall C. Collins Dr.
Manteo, NC 27954

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