Gulf Council Recommends Modifying For-Hire Multi-Day Trip Possession Limit


The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council took final action on a framework action that considers modifying federal for-hire multi-day trip possession limits. The Council recommends allowing anglers on federal for-hire fishing trips that last longer than 30 hours to possess two daily bag or vessel limits at any time during those trips.
Currently, anglers on trips exceeding 24 hours in duration are allowed to possess two daily bag limits (or vessel limits for warsaw grouper and speckled hind) of reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic species, with the exception of cobia. The second daily bag or vessel limit may not be possessed until the first 24 hours have passed. The Council selected to extend the trip duration allowing for the possession of two daily bag limits to greater than 30 hours. The Council also selected to allow for the retention of the two daily bag limits at any time during those trips
Only about 3% of federal for-hire trips exceed 24 hours in duration. The Council suggests the new modifications in an effort to promote efficiency in the utilization of the reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic resources and to increase flexibility for for-hire operators.
The Council will submit these proposed changes to the Secretary of Commerce for approval and implementation.