8/11/15 – NOAA Fisheries – FB15-058: NOAA Fisheries Announces Catch Limit Changes for Commercial and Recreational South Atlantic Gag and Wreckfish

SOUTHEAST FISHERY BULLETIN  

(South Atlantic) 

FB15-058

Mary Janine Vara

727-824-5305      

August 11, 2015     

NOAA Fisheries Announces Catch Limit Changes for Commercial and Recreational South Atlantic Gag and Wreckfish

NOAA Fisheries announces annual catch limit changes for commercial and recreational sectors of South Atlantic gag and wreckfish. The final rule for Regulatory Amendment 22 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region will publish on August 12, 2015.  

The final rule adjusts the annual catch limits for gag and wreckfish based on the outcome of population assessments.

Wreckfish

Regulations implementing the wreckfish commercial annual catch limit will be effective on August 12, 2015. Regulations implementing the wreckfish recreational annual catch limit will be effective on September 11, 2015.

The commercial and recreational annual catch limits for wreckfish will be higher than 2014 levels. The total current annual catch limit for wreckfish is allocated between the commercial (95%) and recreational (5%) sectors. The new values in pounds whole weight are:

Fishing Year*

Total

Wreckfish

ACL**

Commercial

ACL

(95% of Total ACL**)

Recreational ACL

(5% of Total ACL**)

Current

(2014)

235,000

223,250

11,750

2015

433,000

411,350

21,650

2016

423,700

402,515

21,185

2017

414,200

393,490

20,710

2018

406,300

385,985

20,315

2019

396,800

376,960

19,840

2020

389,100

369,645

19,455

*The fishing year for the commercial sector begins on April 16, and the fishing year for the recreational sector begins on January 1.

**ACL - Annual Catch Limit

Gag

Regulations implementing gag commercial and recreational annual catch limits will be effective on September 11, 2015.

The commercial and recreational annual catch limits for gag will initially decrease from 2014 levels, but will gradually increase and exceed 2014 levels by 2018. The total current annual catch limit for gag is allocated between the commercial (51%) and recreation (49%) sectors. The commercial annual catch limit is reduced to the directed commercial quota by 27,218 pounds gutted weight to account for discard mortality of gag that will result from targeting other shallow water groupers after commercial harvest of gag is closed. The new values in pounds gutted weight are:

 

Fishing Year*

Total

Gag

ACL**

Commercial

ACL

(51% of Total ACL**)

Directed

Commercial

Quota

Recreational

ACL

(49% of Total ACL**)

Current

(2014)

694,000

353,940

326,722

340,060

2015

632,700

322,677

295,459

310,023

2016

637,450

325,100

297,882

312,351

2017

677,350

345,449

318,231

331,902

2018

710,600

362,406

335,188

348,194

2019

734,350

374,519

347,301

359,832

*The fishing year for the commercial and recreational sectors begins on January 1.

**ACL - Annual Catch Limit

More Information

For more information on Regulatory Amendment 22 and its Final Rule, please follow this link to the Frequently Asked Questions found at:

 

Summary:

FB15-058: NOAA Fisheries Announces Catch Limit Changes for Commercial and Recreational South Atlantic Gag and Wreckfish