Blueline Tilefish

Blueline Tilefish

Blueline Tilefish

Caulolatilus microps

AKA

Gray Tilefish, Tilefish

Managed by:

SAFMC


Physical description:

The blueline tilefish is a dull olive-gray overall and white below. The lack of fleshy protuberance behind the head distiguishes it from the commercially important tilefish, Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps. Elongate, continuous dorsal and anal fins more than half the length of body, long snout, narrow gold stripe underlined in blue from snout to tip of eye. Strong, flat spine on gill cover.


Biological description:

The blueline tilefish is a bottom dweller found in water ranging from 240-780 feet deep, from Virginia to the Campeche Banks of Mexico. It is frequently found in the same habitat as groupers and snappers, preffering irregular bottom with sand, mud and shell hash. It is usually found in bottom water temperatures of 59° to 73° F. It has been found to burrow head first in cone-shaped sand piles. It may grow to be 32 inches and live up to 15 years. Spawning occurs from May to October, and females may lay more than 4 million free-floating eggs (Hermaphrodism is suspected to occur in this species). Blueline tilefish feed on bottom creatures, such as crabs, shrimp, snails, worms, sea urchins and small fish.


South Atlantic Federal Regulations

Commercial:

  • CLOSED, effective July 18, 2017.
  • NEW Regulations - effective July 13, 2016:
    • New Trip Limit: 300-pound (gutted weight) trip limit. ​
    • New commercial Annual Catch Limit: 87,521-lbs (whole weight)
  • Size Limit:  No size limit
  • Trip Limit:  NEW! Effective July 13, 2016 - 300-pound gutted weight trip limit.
  • 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:
    • NOTE: New blueline tilefish measures under Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 25 were implemented July 13, 2016. Read FB16-048 

Recreational:

  • CLOSED, effective September 1, 2017.
  • Bag Limit: NEW! Three (3) fish per PERSON per DAY during the season (May 1 - August 31).
  • New Season:
    • September through April - fishery closed to recreational harvest.
    • ​May through August -  fishery is open to harvest with a bag limit of three fish per PERSON per day from May through August;
    • New recreational Annual Catch Limit: 87,277-lbs (whole weight)
  • Size Limit:  no size limit
  • 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.
    • 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:
    • NOTE: New blueline tilefish measures under Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 25 were implemented July 13, 2016. Read FB16-048