Gag Grouper and Shallow Water Grouper Closure Anticipated
With landings currently at 77.8% of the commercial ACL for gag grouper (352,940 pounds gutted weight), the commercial fishery could close before the end of the fishing year, triggering a closure of associated shallow water grouper (gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, yellowmouth grouper, yellowfin grouper, graysby, and coney). When the gag grouper quota is met all shallow water grouper are closed to help prevent bycatch mortality of gag. There is also a January through April spawning season closure in place for these species. There are currently separate ACLs in place for gag, red grouper, black grouper, and scamp. All of the remaining shallow water grouper species have their own group commercial and recreational ACLs. The Council is developing a regulatory amendment to address modifying the gag trigger that closes all shallow water grouper.
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