Re-opening of Greater Amberjack Fishing Season in the Gulf of Mexico

The NOAA is reminding fishermen that the season for greater amberjack is re-opening of August 1st, 2015 at 12:01am local time. The daily bag limit is currently one fish per person, and the size limit is 30 inches fork length. However, the NOAA is currently reviewing a possible change to this rule by making the size limit 34 inches fork length. Updates on whether or not this change will be approved are coming soon.

It is estimated that the recreational quota could be met by the end of September, and if this is the case, then the NOAA will announce the closure of the fishing season.

For more information, please see the full announcement HERE.

Re-Opening of Commercial and Recreational Sectors for Snowy Grouper

The NOAA announced that the annual catch limits for snowy group in the South Atlantic in both commercial and recreational sectors has been increased due to a recent assessment of the fish’s population.

The commercial trip limit has increased from 100 pounds gutted weight to 200 pounds gutted weight. Furthermore, the recreational fishing season has been modified from 1 fish per vessel per day year-round to 1 fish per vessel per day from May through August with no recreational retention during the rest of the year.

Officials are hoping that shortening the fishing season for snowy grouper will help reduce the risk of exceeding the annual catch limit. The new regulations will also give anglers a chance to fish for it when weather conditions are best.

To learn more about these regulations, please see the full length bulletin HERE

Trip Limits Modified for Atlantic Group Spanish Mackerel in Southern Zone

On August 13, the commercial trip limit of 3,500 pounds for the Spanish mackerel in South Carolina, Georgia, and eastern Florida will be effective. The NOAA has made these changes in response to the adjusted quota that is now 250,000 pounds less than the commercial quota for the Southern Zone.

Once 100 percent of the new quota is met or projected to be met, the trip limit will once again be altered and set to 500 pounds until the end of the fishing year or until the commercial quota is met. Once the quota has been reached, harvest of Spanish mackerel will be closed.

The new regulations will also eliminate the unlimited weekday Spanish mackerel trip limit for fishermen in the Floridian area of the Southern Zone.

Lastly, the final rule indicates that there will be no changes to the 3,500 pound round trip limit north of the South Carolina/ North Carolina boundary.

For more information, please see the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office website here.

Attention All Greater Amberjack Fishermen

The NOAA Fisheries recently determined that the 2015 commercial quota, 409,000 poundsfishing-in-orange-beach-catching-amberjacks whole weight, for greater amberjack will be met by July 19. Therefore, from July 19th at 12:01AM (local time) until January 1st, 2016, all commercial harvest, sale, or purchase of greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico federal waters will not longer be allowed.

Of course, all purchases of greater amberjack that were harvested prior to July 19th will not fall under the jurisdiction of this regulation.

Considering the popularity of the fish with both recreational and commercial fishermen, it is necessary that no more than the assigned quota be caught. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that the greater amberjack population in the Gulf of Mexico area has been subject to overfishing.

To learn more, please read the full report from the NOAA here.

Regulations on Gray Triggerfish

Starting this week, the commercial harvest for gray triggerfish will reopen. The NOAA has F088-Finescale-Triggerfish-1also implemented new rules and regulations for this season that commercial fishermen should be aware of.

The NOAA has increased the total catch limit of gray triggerfish. Fishermen in the Carolinas should know that the minimum fork-length is now 12 inches. Also, the new whole weight commercial trip limit has been set to 1,000 pounds.

Finally, commercial split seasons for gray triggerfish will be from January 1st-June 30th and July 1st- December 31st.

The final quota for gray triggerfish this year was a total of 63,918 pounds whole weight. Keep in mind that once the commercial quota is met, the NOAA will send out a fishery bulletin to officially announce the closure date.

For more information on this topic, read the full bulletin here!