Warsaw Grouper Regulations

Warsaw Grouper

Warsaw Grouper

Epinephelus nigritus

AKA:

Jewfish (misnomer), Black Jewfish, Warsaw

Managed by:

SAFMC


Physical description:

The warsaw grouper is the only member of the genus Epinephelous that has 10 dorsal spines, the second of which is much longer than the third. The color is a grayish brown to dark reddish-brown background with numerous small, irregular white blotches on the sides. The color appears much lighter around the nape and along the posterior margin of the operculum. All of the fins are dark brown, except the white-splotched spiny portion of the dorsal fin. The young are characterized by a yellow caudal fin; dark saddle on caudal peduncle; and some whitish spots on body.


Biological description:

The warsaw grouper has a wider distribution along the southern United States than the other large grouper, the goliath grouper ( E. itajara). Warsaw range from North Carolina to the Florida Keys and throughout much of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to the northern coast of South America. The species inhabits irregular bottom, notches, valleys, and drop-offs, occuring in the continental shelf break in waters 350 to 650 feet deep. Other species inhabiting this productive deep-water zone are snowy and yellowedge groupers, tilefish, and silk snappers. Warsaw are long-lived, reaching up to 6 feet and over 300 pounds. The warsaw's huge mouth enables it to engulf prey whole.


South Atlantic Federal Regulations

Commercial:

  • Size Limit: Harvest and possession is prohibited in federal waters.
  • Trip Limit: Harvest and possession is prohibited in federal waters.
  • Gear Requirements: 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

 

 

Recreational:

  • Size Limit: Harvest and possession is prohibited in federal waters.
  • Bag Limit: Harvest and possession is prohibited in federal waters.
  • Gear Requirements: 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