Something’s Fishy

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) asks fishermen, divers, and other stakeholders if they have noticed anything “fishy” about various species fishing in the Gulf of Mexico in recent years. Recognizing that active fishermen may notice trends or unusual occurrences happening that scientists and managers may not have observed, this initiative expands the type of information gathered by the Council to gain a better understanding of what is happening on the water.

Red Grouper

Red Grouper

Something’s Fishy with Red Grouper Summary Report


SEDAR 61 Red Grouper Stock Assessment Executive Summary



Something’s Fishy with Cobia Summary Report


SEDAR xx Cobia Stock Assessment Executive Summary

Recreational Data Collection Reporting Programs

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Species and Areas

Status Determination Criteria Infographic

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Status Determination Criteria Definitions


Maximum Sustainable Yield Proxy (MSY)

The largest long-term average catch, or yield that can be taken from a stock or stock complex each year on a continuing basis under prevailing conditions (ecological, environmental, fishery characteristic). MSY can rarely be calculated with accuracy, so a proxy that can be more readily calculated and represents a sustainable level of harvest is usually used.




The rate of fishing mortality that, if applied over the long term, would result in catching the MSY.




The long-term average size of the stock or stock complex that would be achieved by fishing at a constant fishing mortality rate equal to FMSY.  It can be measured in terms of spawning biomass or other appropriate measure of the stock’s reproductive potential.



Minimum Stock Size Threshold (MSST)

The biomass level that a stock can decline to before being declared overfished (stock abundance is too low) and requiring a rebuilding plan.  It can be no lower than 50% of the BMSY.



Maximum Fishing Mortality Threshold (MFMT)

Maximum fishing mortality threshold (MFMT) is the rate of fishing mortality above which a stock is declared to be experiencing overfishing (fish are being removed at too rapid a rate). MFMT may not exceed FMSY.



Optimum Yield (OY)

Optimum yield (OY) is a level of harvest that will provide the greatest overall benefit to the Nation, and is based on MSY as reduced by any relevant economic, social, or ecological factor. It takes the protection of marine ecosystems into account and, in the case of an overfished fishery, provides for rebuilding to a level consistent with producing the MSY or MSY proxy.



Spawning Potential Ratio (SPR)

Sawning potential ratio (SPR) assumes that a certain amount of fish must survive and spawn in order to replenish the stock.  It is calculated as the average number of eggs per fish over its lifetime when the stock is fished compared to the average number of eggs per fish over its lifetime when the stock is not fished.