South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Coastal Migratory Pelagics

Coastal Migratory Pelagics

The Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan applies to the Coastal Migratory Pelagic resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Regions (New York through Texas) and includes Gulf and Atlantic king and Spanish mackerel and Gulf cobia species. The original FMP was approved in 1982.

FMP Objectives

Official name: Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region.

FMP objectives are currently pending approval from the Council.

  1. Stabilize yield at the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), allow recovery of overfished populations, and maintain population levels sufficient to ensure adequate recruitment.
  2. Provide a flexible management system for the resource which minimizes regulatory delay while retaining substantial Council and public input in management decisions and which can rapidly adapt to changes in resource abundance, new scientific information, and changes in fishing patterns among user groups or by areas. 
  3. Provide necessary information for effective management and establish a mandatory reporting system for monitoring catch. 
  4. Minimize gear and user group conflicts. 
  5. Distribute the total allowable catch of Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel between recreational and commercial user groups based on the catches that occurred during the early to mid-1970s, which is prior to the development of the deep-water run-around gillnet fishery and when the resource was not overfished. 
  6. Minimize waste and bycatch in the fishery. 
  7. Provide appropriate management to address specific migratory groups of king mackerel. 
  8. Optimize the social and economic benefits of the coastal migratory pelagic fisheries. 


Staff contacts

Recent news

Upcoming meetings

Amendments under development

  • CMP Amendment 35

    Included in the Joint Commercial Electronic Logbook Reporting Amendment. Modifies reporting requirements for commercial logbooks in the snapper grouper, coastal migratory pelagics (mackerel and cobia) , and dolphin wahoo fisheries.

    Secretarial review
  • CMP Amendment 36

    Included in the Comprehensive Recreational For-Hire Limited Entry Amendment. Establishes limited entry for the for-hire components of the snapper grouper, coastal migratory pelagics, and dolphin wahoo fisheries.

  • CMP Framework Amendment 13

    Responds to the latest stock assessment (SEDAR 78). Atlantic Spanish Mackerel are neither overfished nor undergoing overfishing.  This amendment will update catch levels based on the SSC recommendations.


Completed Amendments

  • CMP Amendment 34

    Updates catch levels for Atlantic migratory group king mackerel and revises management measures for Atlantic migratory group king mackerel and Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel.

    Mar 30, 2023
  • CMP Amendment 27

    Included in the Comprehensive For-Hire Electronic Reporting Amendment. Modified reporting requirements for federally-permitted charter vessels and headboats in the snapper grouper, dolphin wahoo, and coastal migratory pelagics (mackerel and cobia) fisheries.

    Jan 4, 2021
  • CMP Framework Amendment 8

    Modified the king mackerel trip limit for season 2 in the Southern Zone.

    Sep 9, 2020
  • CMP Framework Amendment 7

    GULF ONLY: Modified the Gulf of Mexico migratory group cobia size and posession limits.

    Mar 25, 2020
  • CMP Framework Amendment 6

    Modified the zones and commercial trip limits for king mackerel.

    Sep 11, 2019
  • CMP Amendment 31

    Transfered management of Atlantic Migratory Group Cobia (Georgia – New York) to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

    Mar 21, 2019
  • CMP Framework Amendment 4

    Modified recreational and commercial management measures for Atlantic cobia.

    Sep 5, 2017
  • CMP Framework Amendment 5

    Modified the prohibition on retaining the recreational bag limit of king and Spanish mackerel on vessels with federal commercial permits during a commercial quota closure.

    Aug 31, 2017
  • CMP Amendment 26

    Modified allocations, stock boundaries and sale provisions for Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic migratory groups of king mackerel.

    May 11, 2017
  • CMP Framework Amendment 3

    GULF ONLY: increased the commercial trip limit to 45,000 pounds for the Gulf king mackerel gillnet fishery.

    Jan 19, 2016
  • CMP Framework Amendment 2

    Established Atlantic Spanish mackerel trip limits in the Southern Zone (SC, GA, FL).

    Aug 13, 2015
  • CMP Amendment 20B

    Modified management measures for king mackerel, regional quotas for cobia and king and Spanish mackerel, stock boundary for cobia, and modified the framework procedure.

    Mar 1, 2015
  • CMP Framework Amendment 1

    Updated annual catch limits for Atlantic group and Gulf group Spanish mackerel.

    Dec 22, 2014
  • CMP Amendment 20A

    Prohibited bag limit sales of king and Spanish mackerel in the Atlantic except for state permitted tournaments and removed income requirements for CMP permits.

    Jul 16, 2014
  • CMP Amendment 23

    Included in the Comprehensive Dealer Reporting Amendment. Modified permitting and reporting requirements for seafood dealers receiving federally managed species under eight fishery management plans.

    Jul 7, 2014
  • CMP Amendment 22

    Included in the Comprehensive Headboat Reporting Amendment. Modified reporting requirements for federally-permitted headboats fishing in the South Atlantic for snapper grouper species, dolphin and wahoo, and coastal migratory pelagics (mackerel and cobia).

    Jan 27, 2014
  • CMP Amendment 21

    Included in the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2. Modified management of octocorals in the South Atlantic, special management zones off South Carolina, and sea turtle release gear requirements for the snapper grouper fishery. Designated essential fish habitat (EFH) and EFH-Habitat Areas of Particular Concern for multiple fishery management plans.

    Jan 30, 2012
  • CMP Amendment 18

    Established annual catch limits, annual catch targets and accountability measures. Established both Atlantic and Gulf migratory groups for cobia and removed cero, little tunny, dolphin, and bluefish from the management unit.

    Jan 20, 2012
  • CMP Amendment 19

    Included in the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1. Established deepwater Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (CHAPC) and established Shrimp Fishery Access Areas and Allowable Golden Crab Fishing Areas within the CHAPCs. Provided spatial information for Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) and EFH-HAPC under multiple fishery management plans.

    Jul 22, 2010
  • CMP Amendment 17

    Extended the charter/headboat vessel permit moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Jun 15, 2006
  • CMP Amendment 15

    Established an indefinite limited access program for king mackerel and altered the fishing year.

    Jul 7, 2005
  • CMP Amendment 13

    GULF ONLY: Established two marine reserves where fishing for coastal migratory pelagic species is prohibited.

    Aug 19, 2002
  • CMP Amendment 14

    GULF ONLY: Established a 3-year moratorium on the issuance of charter vessel and headboat Gulf group king mackerel permits in the Gulf.

    Jul 29, 2002
  • CMP Amendment 12

    Extended the commercial king mackerel permit moratorium.

    Oct 2, 2000
  • CMP Amendment 10

    Included in the Comprehensive EFH Amendment. Identified essential fish habitat (EFH) and established EFH-habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC) for managed species in the South Atlantic.

    Jul 14, 2000
  • CMP Amendment 9

    Established a moratorium on king mackerel gillnet permits and allowed the retention and sale of damaged, legal sized king and Spanish mackerel within established trip limits.

    Mar 28, 2000
  • CMP Amendment 11

    Included in the Comprehensive Sustainable Fisheries Act Amendment. Addressed definitions and other required provisions of the Sustainable Fisheries Act in South Atlantic fishery management plans.

    Dec 2, 1999
  • CMP Amendment 8

    Modified requirements for a king or Spanish mackerel permit, set the optimum yield target, and modified the seasonal framework adjustment measures. Extended management of cobia through NY.

    Mar 4, 1998
  • CMP Regulatory Amendment 1

    Set trip limits for Atlantic Migratory Group King Mackerel.

    Dec 18, 1995
  • CMP Amendment 7

    Divided the Gulf commercial allocation equally in the Eastern Zone at the Dade-Monroe County line in Florida.

    Sep 23, 1994
  • CMP Amendment 6

    Established provisions for rebuilding overfished stocks of mackerels within specific periods and biennial assessments and adjustments.

    Dec 9, 1992
  • CMP Amendment 5

    Extended management area for Atlantic groups of mackerels, redefined recreational bag limits as daily limits, added cobia to the annual stock assessment procedure and imposed bag limits, and established a minimum size for king mackerel.

    Jul 19, 1990
  • CMP Amendment 4

    Reallocated Atlantic group Spanish mackerel equally between recreational and commercial sectors.

    Sep 19, 1989
  • CMP Amendment 3

    Prohibited drift gill nets for Gulf group king mackerel and Gulf and Atlantic groups of Spanish mackerel and purse seines for overfished groups of mackerels.

    Jul 13, 1989
  • CMP Amendment 2

    Revised Spanish mackerel maximum sustainable yield, recognized two migratory groups, and set commercial quotas and bag limits. Required permits for charter vessels.

    Jun 25, 1987
  • CMP Amendment 1

    Provided a framework procedure for pre–season adjustment of TAC, revised king mackerel MSY downward, recognized separate Atlantic and Gulf migratory groups of king mackerel, and established fishing permits and bag limits for king mackerel.

    Aug 28, 1985
  • CMP Fishery Management Plan

    Treated king and Spanish mackerel each as one U.S. stock. Established allocations for recreational and commercial fisheries, and the commercial allocation was divided between net and hook–and–line fishermen.

    Feb 4, 1983