FB19-025
FISHERY BULLETIN ISSUE DATE: May15, 2019
CONTACT: Kelli O’Donnell, 727-824-5305, Kelli.Odonnell@noaa.gov

WHAT/WHEN:

  • Commercial harvest of greater amberjack will reopen in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) at 12:01 a.m., local time, on June 1, 2019, and will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on June 9, 2019.
  • The adjusted 2019 Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) commercial quota for greater amberjack is 337,503 lbs.
  • The 2019 commercial quota was reduced due to an overage in 2018.
  • Commercial harvest for the 2020 fishing year will reopen at 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2020.

    WHY THIS PAYBACK AND CLOSURE ARE HAPPENING:

  • The latest report for 2018 greater amberjack commercial landings indicates 331,403 lbs were harvested, which is 12,263 lbs greater than the 2018 commercial annual catch limit (ACL).
  • As a result, regulations require a reduction in the 2019 commercial ACL and commercial quota by the amount of the previous year ACL overage.
    NOAA Fisheries projects that the 2019 adjusted commercial quota will be harvested by June 9, 2019.
  • This action is necessary to protect the greater amberjack population. This population is currently considered overfished (the population size is too low) and undergoing overfishing (too many fish being harvested)

DURING THE CLOSURE:

  • Any person aboard a vessel for which a federal commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued must comply with the closure regardless of where the fish are harvested.
  • No greater amberjack caught in Gulf federal waters after 12:01 a.m., local time, June 9, 2019, may be purchased, bartered, traded, or sold.
  • The prohibition of sale does not apply to trade in greater amberjack that were harvested, landed ashore and bartered, traded, or sold before 12:01 a.m., local time, June 9, 2019, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor