Yellowfin Grouper

Yellowfin Grouper

Scientific Name

Mycteroperca venenosa

Stock Status

Overfishing – Unknown

Overfished – Unknown

Regulations

Recreational Commercial
Season Open year-round. If landings reach the stock ACL in a year then during the following year if landings are projected to reach the stock ACL then harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year. Recreational fishing for red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper is closed from February 1- March 31 when fishing beyond the 20 fathom break. Season Yellowfin grounper is managed under an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program. Anyone commercially fishing for yellowfin grouper must possess allocation and follow established protocols.
Minimum Size Limit 20 inches total length Minimum Size Limit 20 inches total length
Bag Limit 4 per person within the 4-grouper aggregate bag limit which includes gag, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, yellowedge grouper, snowy grouper, speckled hind, and warsaw. No grouper may be retained by the captain or crew of a vessel operating as a charter vessel or headboat. Trip Limit none
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 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.

Shallow-water Grouper Closure (Map of the 20-fathom break)

Seasonal Closures

Title 50 CFR: Wildlife and Fisheries – PART 622 FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC
Subpart B – Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico – §622.34 Seasonal and area closures designed to protect Gulf reef fish

(d) Seasonal closure of the recreational sector for shallow-water grouper (SWG). The recreational sector for SWG, in or from the Gulf EEZ, is closed each year from February 1 through March 31, in the portion of the Gulf EEZ seaward of rhumb lines connecting, in order, the points in the following table. During the closure, the bag and possession limit for SWG in or from the Gulf EEZ seaward of the following rhumb lines is zero.

Harvest Limits

 Combined stock ACL black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper – 710,000 pounds
 Combined Commercial ACL for black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper – 547,000 pounds
 Combined Commercial quota for black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper – 525,000 pounds

Description

Yellowfin grouper inhabits the western Atlantic from North Carolina south to southern Brazil.  It is also found in the Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean Sea.  Yellowfin grouper has two color morphs:  greenish gray in shallow water and bright red in deeper water.  It has oblong dark spots that form horizontal rows on its sides.  Small red spots can often be seen on the belly.  The pectoral fins always have a yellow margin.

 

Maximum observed age:  15 years1, 2

Age at maturity:  ~ 3 to 4 years3

Maximum weight:  40.79 pounds (18.5 kilograms)1

Maximum length:   39.37 inches (100 centimeters)2

Life History and Distribution

This grouper lives at depths from 7 to 450 feet (2 to 137 meters).4 Yellowfin grouper habitat includes reefs and rocky or muddy bottoms.  Juveniles live in seagrass beds until mature enough to move offshore.  Seasonal spawning times vary substantially in different regions within the Gulf of Mexico; generally, spawning occurs January to August.  Yellowfin grouper form spawning aggregations and they share spawning sites with other groupers such as Nassau, black and tiger grouper.2, 1 Like other grouper species, yellowfin grouper is believed to change sex from female to male but this trait has not been definitively shown.1

References

  1. SEDAR 14 Stock Assessment Report 1: Caribbean Yellowfin Grouper, 2007
  2. Kobara, S., B. Erisman, W. Heyman, C. Biggs, N. Farmer, S. Lowerre-Barbieri, M. Karnauskas, and J. Brenner. 2017. Cooperative monitoring program for spawning aggregations in the Gulf of Mexico: data portal. Version 1.0 GCOOS, USA.
  3. Farmer, N.A., Malinowski, R.P., McGovern, M.F. and Rubec, P.J. (2016), Stock Complexes for Fisheries Management in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine and Coastal Fisheries, 8: 177-201. doi:10.1080/19425120.2015.1024359
  4. Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall, 1993. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p.