Graysby

Graysby

Cephalopholis cruentata

Managed by:

SAFMC


Physical description:

The Graysby is a smaller species of grouper. They vary from pale gray to dark brown; has many darker orangish, red-brown spots on its body, fins, and chin. There are three to five distinctive marks, like pale or dark spots, that run along the base of the dorsal fin. A white line runs between the eyes from the nape to the lower lip. The spots change color, either growing pale or darkening in contrast with the body. The tail is more rounded than in similar species. There are 9 spines and 14 rays in the soft dorsal fin, compared to 15 to 17 rays in the closely related coney.


Biological description:

Range from North Carolina to the northern Gulf of Mexico and south to Brazil; common in southern Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean and are also found in Bermuda. Found in small ledges and caves in coral beds. Reefs are preferred since they blend with the surroundings at depths between 10 and 60 feet.


South Atlantic Federal Regulations

Commercial:

  • CLOSED, effective January 1, 2017. The fishery will reopen on May 1, 2017.
  • Size Limit:  None
  • Trip Limit: ​ None
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • Annual Shallow-water Grouper Spawning Season Closure January 1 through April 30. Prohibition on recreational and commercial harvest or possession of: gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper.
    • 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:

  • CLOSED, effective January 1, 2017. The fishery will reopen on May 1, 2017.
  • Size Limit: ​ ​ None
  • Bag Limit: ​ ​Included in Aggregate Grouper Bag Limit of 3 grouper per person/day.
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • Annual Shallow-water Grouper Spawning Season Closure January 1 through April 30. Prohibition on recreational and commercial harvest or possession of: gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper.
    • 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.
    • Included in Aggregate Grouper bag limit of 3 groupers per person/day.
    • 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: