FB18-021
FISHERY BULLETIN ISSUE DATE: March 28, 2018
CONTACT:Kelli O’Donnell, 727-824-5305,kelli.odonnell@noaa.gov

 

KEY MESSAGE:
NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule modifying the greater amberjack recreational fishing year and fixed closed season in the Gulf of Mexico. Recreational fishing for greater amberjack will be open May 1-31, 2018.

WHEN THIS RULE WILL TAKE EFFECT:

  • Regulations will be effective April 30, 2018.

WHAT THIS MEANS:

  • The greater amberjack recreational fishing year will be August 1 through July 31 (see table below).
  • The greater amberjack recreational fixed closed season will be November 1 through April 30 and June 1 through July 31.
  • Recreational fishing will be open August through October and in May.
  • Therefore, the greater amberjack recreational sector will open on May 1, 2018.

Fishing Year and Fixed Closed Seasons

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Why is the recreational fishing year changing?

  • The change in fishing year is expected to improve recreational fishermen’s access to greater amberjack.
  • It is expected to provide an opportunity to harvest this species when other targeted reef fish species are prohibited from harvest (i.e. fall opening).

Why is the recreational fixed closed season changing?

  • The recreational fixed closed season was January 1 through June 30. The intent of this closure for 2018 was to provide the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council more time to consider the most appropriate recreational closed season.
  • The new fixed closed season of November 1 through April 30 and June 1 through July 31 is expected to protect the greater amberjack population during peak spawning and still allow for spring (May) and fall (August through October) recreational harvest.

Where can I find more information on this rule?

  • Contact NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office
    By Mail: Kelli O’Donnell
    NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office
    Sustainable Fisheries Division
    263 13th Avenue South
    St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505
    By FAX: (727) 824-5308
    By Phone: (727) 824-5305

The Greater Amberjack Fishing Year and Recreational Fixed Closed Season Framework may be found online at the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office Web site at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2017/GAJ_Fishing Year/index.html.

Additional information on management of greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico may be found at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/policy_branch/rules/gulf/reef_fish/index.html.