Note: To monitor the Annual Catch Limit, the fishing year is August 1 – July 31.
|Season||Open August 1 – October 31 and May 1 – May 31. If landings reach recreational ACT, harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year.||Season||Open January-February and June-December. If commercial landings reach the ACT the season will be closed for the remainder of the fishing year.|
|Minimum Size Limit||34 inches fork length||Minimum Size Limit||36 inches fork length|
|Bag Limit||1 per person. Captain and crew of for-hire vessels may not retain a bag limit.||Trip Limit||1000 pounds GW. When 75% of the ACT is landed, the trip limit will be reduced to 250 pounds GW|
|Permit||State issued recreational license/angler registry, federal angler registry or Federal charter/headboat permit for reef fish||Permit||Commercial vessel permit for reef fish is required. Additionally, an eastern Gulf reef fish bottom longline endorsement required to use bottom longline for Gulf reef fish in the federal waters east of 85°30′ longitude.|
|Gear||Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required when fishing with natural baits. At least one dehooking device is required and must be used to remove hooks.||Gear|
Overfishing – Yes
Overfished – Yes
|Sector||Annual Catch Limit||Annual Catch Target|
|Commercial||484,380 pounds||421,411 pounds|
|Recreational||1,309,620 pounds||1,086,985 pounds|
Greater amberjack are a member of the jack family (Carangidae). They are typically a silvery-blue, with yellow shading along the lateral line, and a dark brown diagonal band through the eye. Their tail is deeply forked. The Gulf of Mexico stock is thought to be distinct from the Atlantic. Greater amberjack are a reef-associated species typically caught between depths of 59 to 236 ft (18 and 72 m). Greater amberjack in the Gulf are presently considered overfished and experiencing overfishing (SEDAR 33 2014)
Life History and Distribution
Greater amberjack are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea in temperate to tropical waters. The maximum observed age is 15 years, the maximum weight is 178 pounds whole weight, and the maximum length is 58 inches fork length. Females grow to larger maximum sizes than males. Peak spawning occurs in March and April in the Gulf. After a brief pelagic stage, newly hatched larva and small juveniles often associate with floating Sargassum. Larger juveniles shift to demersal habitats, where they congregate around reefs, rocky outcrops, and wrecks. Adult greater amberjack are found on both artificial and natural reefs (SEDAR 33, 2014).