Recreational harvest of greater amberjack in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on March 24, 2017, and will remain closed until January 1, 2018.
WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:
- The 1,255,600-pound whole weight recreational annual catch limit for 2016 was exceeded, requiring the 2017 annual catch limit and annual catch target to be reduced by the amount of the overage in 2016.
- NOAA Fisheries is required to close the recreational sector for greater amberjack when the recreational annual catch target is reached, or is projected to be reached.
- Based on available data, NOAA Fisheries projects the adjusted 335,741-pound whole weight recreational annual catch target for 2017 will be reached by March 24, 2017.
- Therefore, the recreational fishing season will close in federal waters at 12:01 a.m. on March 24, 2017, and remain closed until January 1, 2018.
- This closure is necessary to protect the greater amberjack population. The greater amberjack population is overfished (the population is too low) and limiting harvest is necessary for the population to recover.
- NOAA Fisheries reminds fishermen that state water regulations for greater amberjack may differ from federal water regulations. It is important for fishermen to check the applicable state regulations to determine whether harvest is allowed in state waters.
DURING THE CLOSURE:
- Recreational harvest or possession of greater amberjack is prohibited in federal waters.
- The closure applies in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a valid Gulf of Mexico reef fish charter/headboat permit.
SIGN UP FOR TEXT MESSAGE ALERTS – FIND OUT ABOUT IMMEDIATE OPENINGS AND CLOSURES
NOAA’s Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery related alerts via text message (SMS). Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time. Text alerts you may receive include:
- Immediate fishery openings and closures
- Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly
Sign up for one or more of the following groups:
- Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
- Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
- South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
- South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
- Caribbean Fisheries Related Alerts
Text CARIBFISH to 888777
Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707
Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750
About Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.