11/13/18 – NOAA Fisheries – FB18-078: Commercial Closure for Hogfish in Federal Waters off the Florida Keys/East Florida Beginning November 16, 2018

South Atlantic Fishery Bulletin 
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FB18-078
FISHERY BULLETIN ISSUE DATE: November 9, 2018

CONTACT: Sustainable Fisheries, 727-824-5305

Commercial Closure for Hogfish
in Federal Waters off the Florida Keys/East Florida

Beginning November 16, 2018

 
WHAT/WHEN:
    • The commercial harvest for the Florida Keys/East Florida population of hogfish in federal waters of the South Atlantic and part of the Gulf of Mexico will close at 12:01 a.m. local time on November 16, 2018, and will open on January 1, 2019. The boundaries of the Florida Keys/East Florida population are from the 25 09' N. latitude line off the west coast of Florida (near Cape Sable, Florida), east around South Florida, to the Florida/Georgia border.
    • During the commercial closure, all sale or purchase of hogfish in or from federal waters off the Florida Keys and east coast of Florida, and south of the 25 09' N latitude off the west coast of Florida is prohibited, and harvest or possession of hogfish in or from federal waters is limited to the recreational bag and possession limits when the recreational sector is open.
    • The commercial closure for the Florida Keys/East Florida population of hogfish applies in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a federal commercial permit for South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper and/or Gulf Reef Fish.
WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:
  • The 2018 commercial catch limit for the Florida Keys/East Florida population of hogfish is 4,524 pounds whole weight. Commercial landings are projected to reach the commercial catch limit by November 16, 2018.
  • According to the accountability measures, commercial harvest should close to prevent the catch limit from being exceeded.
AFTER THE CLOSURE:
  • The 2019 commercial fishing season for the Florida Keys/East Florida population of hogfish will open on January 1, 2019, with a commercial catch limit of 5,670 pounds whole weight. This catch limit is scheduled to increase annually through 2027.
This bulletin provides only a summary of the existing regulations.  Full regulations can be found in the Federal Register or at

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgibin/textidxSID=383bc195ccbeab4fd6bec1c24905df34&n

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