NOAA Fisheries announces two new changes to recreational red grouper fishing:
The red grouper bag limit will go from 4 fish to 2 fish effective May 7, 2015, at 12:01 a.m., local time. The accountability measure for a reduction in the bag limit when the annual catch limit is exceeded is removed.
With the existing four-fish bag limit, the annual catch target was met in 2014 resulting in the recreational season closing on October 4, 2014. Reducing the four-fish bag limit to two fish is intended to extend the recreational fishing season and avoid such in-season closures.
Removing the accountability measure is intended to reduce public confusion when the bag limit is adjusted the following year after the annual catch limit is exceeded in the previous year. With the reduction of the bag limit to 2 fish, this action is no longer necessary.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved these changes at their October 2014 meeting
Electronic copies of the final rule and supporting documents may be obtained from NOAA Fisheries Web site at:
<a href="http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2014/red_grouper_rec_framework/index.html." title="Red Grouper