Commercial Fishing

Gulf Council Recommends Increasing 2021 Red Snapper Catch Limits and Calibrating Recreational Landings Beginning in 2023

red snapper

The Council chose to increase the 2021 red snapper overfishing limit (OFL) to 25,600,000 pounds whole weight, and the 2021 acceptable biological catch (ABC) to 15,400,000 pounds whole weight, as recommended by the Scientific and Statical Committee (SSC). The revised 2021 red snapper catch limits are as follows:   The…

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Commercial Hook-and-Line Harvest of King Mackerel Opens Briefly in EEZ

king mackerel swimming

WHAT/WHEN: Commercial hook-and-line harvest of king mackerel in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico Southern Zone (depicted in map below) will reopen for five days in April 2021. Commercial harvest will reopen at 12:01 a.m., local time, on April 4, 2021, and close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on April 9,…

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Delay in the Effective Date for the Final Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Device Use for all Skimmers

shrimp boat

NOAA Fisheries is delaying the effective date of the final rule amending the definition of tow time and requiring the use of TEDs designed to exclude small sea turtles in their nets in skimmer trawls 40 feet in length and greater in the Southeastern U.S. shrimp fisheries until August 1,…

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Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Adds 14 Additional Reefs

reef fish swimming in Flower Banks; photo from NOAA

The 14 additional reefs and banks are officially part of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS). As of March 22, 2021, FGBNMS encompasses 17 reefs and banks located approximately 80-125 miles off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. These banks are a combination of small underwater mountains, ridges, troughs, and…

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Commercial Fishing For Aggregated Large Coastal And Hammerhead Sharks Closed

hooks on a basket

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that effective March 10 at 11:30p.m., commercial fishing for large coastal sharks in the aggregated large coastal and hammerhead groups (great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, bull shark, lemon shark, sandbar shark, silky shark, spinner shark, and tiger…

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Register for Additional Skimmer Turtle Excluder Device Reimbursement Program (STEDRP) Webinars

fishing boat at sea

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled additional required webinars for shrimpers who would like to receive Turtle Excluder Device reimbursement funds. On April 1, 2021, skimmer vessels 40 feet in length and over will be required by federal law to install turtle excluder devices (TEDs). The…

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The DESCEND Act of 2020 will go into effect in January 2022

photo of red snapper with barotrauma on descending device

The Direct Enhancement of Snapper Conservation and the Economy through Novel Devices Act of 2020 (DESCEND Act of 2020) was signed into law on January 13, 2021. The new Act will require commercial and recreational vessels (including for-hire) to have a venting tool or descending device rigged and ready to…

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LDWF Announces Process to Lift Oyster Moratorium

hands holding single oyster, with oysters in background

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is lifting the long-standing oyster lease moratorium, which has been in effect since 2002.  The moratorium, which halted LDWF’s practice of leasing state-owned water bottoms to private entities for oyster cultivation, was originally instituted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at…

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January 2021 Gulf Council Meeting Summary

red snapper

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council met virtually from January 25 – 28, 2021. During the meeting, the Council presented Sergeant Scott Dupre of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries with the 2019 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. The Council also heard a presentation on Deepwater Horizon Open…

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