Atlantic Spadefish

Atlantic Spadefish

Atlantic Spadefish

Chaetodipterus faber

AKA:

Angelfish

Managed by:

SAFMC


Physical description:

Spadefish are usually identified by their deep and laterally compressed bodies, small mouths, blunt heads and pointed dorsal and anal fins. Adults are silver gray with three to six prominent black vertical bars along the sides. The first bar passes through the eye, and the last is on the caudal peduncle. Juvenile Spadefish are usually black and are frequently misidentified.


Biological description:

Atlantic spadefish are found schooling near coastal reefs, wrecks and pilings from New England to southern Brazil, including the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Large spawning aggregations occur in the summer, although there is little information on the size of mature adults. The spadefish has been described as one of the most generalized reef fish in its food habits. The species feeds on plants, sponges, worms, crab and lobster found on reefs, bottom surfaces, mid-depths or at the surface.


South Atlantic Federal Regulations

Commercial:

  • Size Limit: None
  • Trip Limit:Limited access permit required.
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • All species must be landed with head and fins intact.
    • Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species.
    • The use of non-stainless steel circle hooks (offset or non-offset) is required for all species in the snapper grouper complex when using hook-and-line gear with natural baits in waters North of 28 degrees N. latitude.
    • After the commercial quota is met, all purchase and sale is prohibited and harvest and/or possession is limited to the recreational bag limit. This prohibition does not apply to fish harvested, landed, and sold prior to the quota being reached and held in cold storage by a dealer. Quotas are given in gutted weights.
    • Commercial snapper grouper vessels must have onboard NMFS approved sea turtle release gear and follow smalltooth sawfish release protocol. See the Handling and Release Protocol from NOAA Fisheries or call 727-824-5312.
    • Annual Catch Limit (ACL) – This species is managed under an ACL. See current information on Commercial ACLs (quotas) from NOAA Fisheries.
  • Additional Updates:

Recreational:

  • Size Limit: None
  • Trip Limit: Included in the 20 Fish Aggregate Bag Limit of 20 fish per person/day
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • Included in the 20 Fish Aggregate Bag Limit - There is an aggregate bag limit of 20 fish per person inclusive of all fish in the snapper grouper complex currently not under a bag limit. A fisherman may catch their bag limits and additionally retain up to 20 other fish for which there is no bag limit, including this species.
    • All species must be landed with head and fins intact.
    • Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species.
    • The use of non-stainless steel circle hooks (offset or non-offset) is required for all species in the snapper grouper complex when using hook-and-line gear with natural baits in waters North of 28 degrees N. latitude.
    • The sale of bag-limit caught snapper grouper species is prohibited.
    • Annual Catch Limit (ACL) - This species is managed under an ACL. See current information on Recreational ACLs from NOAA Fisheries.
  • Additional Updates: