council logo bannerFor Immediate Release
April 20, 2023


The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold four in-person and two webinar public hearings to solicit public comments on Draft Reef Fish Amendment 56: Modifications to Catch Limits, Sector Allocation, and Recreational Fishing Seasons for Gulf of Mexico Gag.


The most recent stock assessment (SEDAR 72 2022), which included new recreational catch and effort data and an ecosystem-based red tide analysis, determined that gag grouper is overfished and experiencing overfishing.  The Council is obligated to end overfishing and develop a rebuilding plan for gag grouper, which will greatly reduce catch limits during the rebuilding period.


Amendment 56 considers modifying gag status determination criteria, including the maximum sustainable yield, maximum fishing mortality threshold, and optimum yield.  Collectively, these values inform the overfishing and overfished status of the stock.  The Amendment also considers modifying gag catch limits, the allocation between the commercial and recreational sectors, and the gag rebuilding timeline.  Finally, Amendment 56 considers modifying the recreational fishing season and accountability measures.


The public hearings will begin at 6:00 PM and conclude no later than 9:00 PM, local time. Dates and locations are as follows:


In-Person Hearings


Cedar Key, Florida

May 15, 2023


552 1st Street

Cedar Key, FL 32652


Destin, Florida

May 15, 2023

Destin Community Center

101 Stahlman Avenue

Destin, FL 32541


Ft. Myers, Florida

May 15, 2023

Courtyard by Marriott

10050 Gulf Center Drive

Fort Myers, FL 33913


St. Petersburg, Florida

May 17, 2023

FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

100 8th Ave SE

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Virtual Hearings


May 8, 2023

Register for Webinar


May 30, 2023

Register for Webinar