Recreational Harvest Closures of Greater Amberjack and Gray Triggerfish
Recreational harvest of gray triggerfish in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) will close at 12:01 am, local time, on May 11, 2019. The 2020 recreational fishing year begins January 1, 2020. Recreational harvest will reopen March 1, 2020, following the January and February annual closure.
Recreational harvest of greater amberjack is currently closed and will not re-open May 1, 2019. Fishing will be allowed beginning August, 1, 2019, the start of the 2019/2020 fishing year.
In accordance with the regulations, NOAA Fisheries must close a fishery when the annual catch target has been or is projected to be met. These closures are needed to prevent overfishing of the species (annual catch rate is too high).
WHY THESE CLOSURES ARE HAPPENING:
The fishing year is August through July.
Annual closures are November through April and June through July. Thus, recreational harvest of greater amberjack can occur in August through October and in May, unless the annual catch target has been or is projected to be met.
The 2018/2019 recreational annual catch target is 902,185 pounds. Data indicate the annual catch target was met during the August through October 2018 fishing season.
The fishing year is January through December.
Annual closures are January through February and June through July.
The 2019 recreational annual catch target is 217,100 pounds. Projections indicate that recreational landings of gray triggerfish will be met as of May 11, 2019.
DURING AND AFTER THE CLOSURE:
During the recreational closures, the bag and possession limits for greater amberjack and gray triggerfish in or from federal waters of the Gulf are zero.
The prohibition on possession of Gulf greater amberjack and gray triggerfish also applies in Gulf state waters for a vessel issued a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish.
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