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Chub Mackerel Plan to Protect Important Mid-Atlantic Foraging Fish

William Deyesso

Serving as head of Royal Administration Services, Inc., William Deyesso provides a host of third-party insurance administration solutions. William Deyesso is an avid deep-sea fisherman who has pursued game fish ranging from mahi mahi to marlin, and has a passion for coastal and marine conservation.

As reported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, a chub mackerel plan is currently being developed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council as a way of preserving stock of a species that represents a major form of prey for larger game fish.

Prior to the unmanaged forage fish rule going into effect in 2017, forage fish across the Mid-Atlantic were targeted without catch limits and were allowed at any time. This resulted in vast overfishing, with the chub mackerel annual catch skyrocketing to in excess of 5 million pounds by 2013. This represented in a haul hundreds of times larger than just a few years earlier.
With China, Japan, and African nations the largest importers, Atlantic and Pacific chub mackerel together represent one of the largest fisheries in the world. Unfortunately, poorly regulated industrial-scale trawlers have emerged in recent years to harvest them to beyond sustainable levels.
Discussions are still underway on the best way of managing the forage fish at a level where they can sustain significant populations of predator fish such as marlin and swordfish. These follow coastal schools of chub mackerel in locations across the Americas and the Caribbean.

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