Flathead grey mullet, Mullet
Striped mullet, Common mullet
Flathead grey mullet (striped mullet; Mugil cephalus) is considered a single genetic stock in all US Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico waters (Rocha-Olivares et al. 2000). Such studies support the existence of a single population in the US Gulf of Mexico and along the NW Atlantic US coast. A regional fishery management plan within the US Gulf of Mexico recognizes this genetic homogeneity but advocates that, due to the generally non-migratory nature of the species, regional (sub-stock level) management of striped mullet is acceptable “as long as the overall stock can maintain itself” (Leard et al. 1995).
Within the Gulf of Mexico, each state (including Florida) has their own management program for striped mullet. Florida’s management program further divides the population into multiple “stock” units within their territorial waters. The most recent stock assessment (Chagaris et al. 2014) recognizes two separate stocks (management units): one in waters of the Atlantic Ocean (east coast) and one in the Gulf of Mexico (west coast). The focus of this particular fishery profile is the commercial cast net fishery along Florida’s west coast. Descriptions of fishery performance, stock status, ecosystem impacts, etc within this profile are specific to the Florida Gulf coast cast net fishery and are not necessarily indicative of fishery sustainability in other regions or fishery sectors.