After hearing public comment at its October meeting in Mobile, Alabama, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council chose to modify the commercial and recreational minimum size limit for Gulf cobia in federal waters.
The Council selected to increase the cobia minimum size limit to 36 inches fork length.
The most recent Gulf cobia stock assessment was completed in 2013, and the next assessment is scheduled to begin in 2019. The Council decided to address Gulf cobia management measures after numerous anglers expressed concern for a perceived decline in the Gulf cobia population. Increasing the Gulf cobia minimum size limit to 36 inches fork length is expected to reduce landings by 10.3% for the commercial sector and 26.1% for the recreational sector.
The suggested Gulf cobia management changes will be transmitted to the Secretary of Commerce for approval and implementation.