Greater Amberjack Regulations

Greater Amberjack

Greater Amberjack

Seriola dumerili

AKA

Amberjack

Managed by:

SAFMC

Fish Rules
Mobile App

Mobile App - Fish Rules

Download for:
Iphone/Ipad & Android


Physical description:

The coloration of the greater amberjack is characterized by a dark stripe on the head which extends from the origin of the first dorsal fin through the eye. The back is blue or olivaceous, and the sides and belly are silvery-white. Occasionally there is an amber or pinkish cast to the body. Juveniles have five or six dark vertical bars along the sides.


Biological description:

Greater amberjack are found in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. In the western Atlantic, they are distributed from Nova Scotia to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, where they concentrate around reefs, rock outcrops and wrecks. Greater amberjack that are at least 5 years of age, or 33.5 inches long, spawn from March through July. They may reach a size of 6 feet and weigh nearly 200 pounds. Voracious predators, greater amberjacks eat mostly crab, squid and other fishes found on reefs. They are often found in small groups and are friendly to divers.


Check out the Fishery Performance Report for Greater Amberjack

 

Recreational Regulations

Recreational Season: 

The following regulations apply to Greater Amberjack in federal waters (3-200 nautical miles) off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida.

  • Open Season: March 1 through the end of February
    • Note: since this species is managed under an Annual Catch Limit, the fishery could close if the recreational Annual Catch Limit is met or projected to be met. If an in-season closure were to be announced by NOAA Fisheries, all relevant information will be included here.

 

Recreational Bag and Size Limits

 

  • Bag Limit: 1 fish per person per day
    • Note:  In April, for-hire/charter boat limited to 1 per person per day or 1 per person per trip, whichever is more restrictive.

 

  • Minimum Size Limit: 28-inch fork length​
  •  

Allowable gear includes vertical hook-and-line, including hand line and bandit gear, and spearfishing gear without rebreathers.

 

Dehooking Tool Requirement:

  • Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species.
    • At least one dehooking device is required and must be used as needed to remove hooks embedded in South Atlantic snapper-grouper with minimum damage.
    • The hook removal device must be constructed to allow the hook to be secured and the barb shielded without re-engaging during the removal process.
    • The dehooking end must be blunt, and all edges rounded. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and styles used in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery.

 

Descending Device Requirement:

  • Requirement: A descending device is required to be on board and readily available for use on all vessels fishing for or possessing snapper-grouper species;

 

  • Definition of a Descending Device: an instrument to which is attached a minimum of a 16 ounce weight and a length of line that will release the fish at the depth from which the fish was caught or a minimum of 60 feet.
    • The descending device attaches to the fish’s mouth or is a container that will hold the fish.  The device MUST be capable of releasing the fish automatically, by the actions of the operator of the device, or by allowing the fish to escape on its own.
    • Since minimizing surface time is critical to increasing survival, descending devices shall be readily available for use while engaged in fishing.

 

Hook Requirements:

All hooks, regardless of type, must be constructed of non-stainless steel. 

North of 28º North Latitude:

  • The use of Non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks is required when
    fishing for snapper-grouper species with hook-and-line gear and natural baits north of 28º north latitude.  
  • A circle hook is defined as a fishing hook designed and manufactured so that the point is turned perpendicularly back to the shank to form a generally circular, or oval, shape.

 

South of 28º North Latitude:

  • The use of non-stainless steel hooks when fishing for snapper-grouper species with hook-and-line gear and natural baits south of 28º north latitude.  

 

Click here for helpful resources, including:

  • best fishing practices tips
  • information on hook types
  • how-to videos

NOTE: All other recreational gear requirements apply (see other tabs for details).

 

Permit Requirements

A Federal For-Hire Permit is Required

  • Click Here to Learn More
  • When harvest of this species closes in federal waters, vessels with a federal charter/for-hire permit cannot retain this species in state or federal waters.
  • Beginning January 4, 2021, all vessels with a federal charter/headboat permit for Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, or South Atlantic snapper-grouper will be required to electronically report their catch. Learn more.

 

Sea Turtle Release Gear Requirements

  • All species must be landed with head and fins intact
  • Recreational Bag Limit sales are prohibited 

 

Fish Rules Mobile App

Mobile App - Fish Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see some "Frequently Asked Questions."

DOWNLOAD for Android
DOWNLOAD for Apple 

 

Recreational Regulations Summary

Click the image for a summary of regulations for some snapper grouper species

 

Current Fishery Closures

Click the image for a summary of current fishery closures

Commercial Regulations

Commercial Permit:

Commercial Season: 

The following regulations apply to Greater Amberjack in federal waters (3-200 nautical miles) off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida.

  • There are two commercial fishing seasons for Greater Amberjack with 60% of the commercial annual catch limit allocated to Season 1 and 40% to Season 2, and the transfer of any remaining quota from Season 1 to Season 2:
    • Season 1: March 1 - August 31

 

    • Season 2: September 1 - end of February

 

  • Annual seasonal closure for the month of April; No sale in April.
      • During April of each year, harvest or possession of greater amberjack is limited to 1 per person per day or 1 per person per trip, whichever is more restrictive with no sale allowed and regardless of whether the fish was harvested in state or federal waters.
  •  
  • Note: since this species is managed under an Annual Catch Limit, the fishery could close if the commercial Annual Catch Limit is met or projected to be met. If an in-season closure were to be announced by NOAA Fisheries, all relevant information will be included here.
  •  

Commercial Trip and Size Limits

  • Trip Limit:​ 
    • Season 1 (March 1 - August 31): 1200 pounds whole weight or gutted weight
    • Season 2 (September 1 - end of February): 1000 pounds whole weight or gutted weight

 

  • Minimum Size Limit: 36-inch fork length; no coring

Allowable gear includes vertical hook-and-line, including hand line and bandit gear, and spearfishing gear without rebreathers. 

 

Dehooking Tool Requirement:

  • Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species.
    • At least one dehooking device is required and must be used as needed to remove hooks embedded in South Atlantic snapper-grouper with minimum damage.
    • The hook removal device must be constructed to allow the hook to be secured and the barb shielded without re-engaging during the removal process.
    • The dehooking end must be blunt, and all edges rounded. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and styles used in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery.

 

Descending Device Requirement:

  • Requirement: A descending device is required to be on board and readily available for use on all vessels fishing for or possessing snapper-grouper species;

 

  • Definition of a Descending Device: an instrument to which is attached a minimum of a 16 ounce weight and a length of line that will release the fish at the depth from which the fish was caught or a minimum of 60 feet.
    • The descending device attaches to the fish’s mouth or is a container that will hold the fish.  The device MUST be capable of releasing the fish automatically, by the actions of the operator of the device, or by allowing the fish to escape on its own.
    • Since minimizing surface time is critical to increasing survival, descending devices shall be readily available for use while engaged in fishing.

 

Hook Requirements:

All hooks, regardless of type, must be constructed of non-stainless steel. 

North of 28º North Latitude: 

  • The use of Non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks is required when fishing for snapper-grouper species with hook-and-line gear and natural baits north of 28º north latitude.
  • A circle hook is defined as a fishing hook designed and manufactured so that the point is turned perpendicularly back to the shank to form a generally circular, or oval, shape.  

 

South of 28º North Latitude:

  • The use of non-stainless steel hooks when fishing for snapper-grouper species with hook-and-line gear and natural baits south of 28º north latitude.  

 

Click here for helpful resources, including:

  • best fishing practices tips
  • information on hook types
  • how-to videos

 

Sea Turtle Release Gear Requirements

Annual Catch Limit

This species is managed under an Annual Catch Limit (ACL).

There are two commercial fishing seasons for Greater Amberjack with 60% of the commercial annual catch limit allocated to Season 1 and 40% to Season 2, and the transfer of any remaining quota from Season 1 to Season 2:

After the commercial annual catch limit 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 annual catch limit being reached and held in cold storage by a dealer. 

Click here for details 

  • All species must be landed with head and fins intact

Fish Rules Mobile App

Mobile App - Fish Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see some "Frequently Asked Questions."

DOWNLOAD for Android
DOWNLOAD for Apple 

 

Commercial Regulations Summary

Click the image for a summary of regulations for some snapper grouper species

 

Current Fishery Closures

Click the image for a summary of current fishery closures

  •