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Emergency Action: Modification of the Greater Amberjack Recreational Fixed Closed Season

Overview

Fishing Type
Recreational
Affected Species
Action Status
Emergency Rule
Issued
07/25/2022
Comments Close
Point of Contact
Kelli O'Donnell, 727-824-5305, Kelli.ODonnell@noaa.gov

Summary

NOAA Fisheries is implementing emergency measures to adjust the Gulf of Mexico greater amberjack recreational fixed closed season. The rule would modify the recreational fixed closed season to be August 1-31 and November 1 – July 31 (open September 1 – October 31).

This temporary rule is intended to reduce the likelihood of overfishing, reduce the probability of an annual catch limit overage and subsequent payback for the recreational sector, and reduce the severity of a postseason payback that could possibly prevent the recreational season from opening in the 2023/2024 fishing year while the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) develops long-term measures to end overfishing with Reef Fish Amendment 54. Further, current regulations do not allow the portion of an overage that could not be paid back in the following year to be carried over to the second year. The failure to prevent overfishing and mitigate for the entire overage of recreational harvest that is projected to occur in the 2022/2023 under the current fixed closed season would result in negative biological effects and may prevent the stock from rebuilding by 2027.

At their June 2022 meeting, the Council requested that NOAA Fisheries implement an Emergency Rule in response to the recently discovered circumstances, which present serious conservation issues to the stock, by modifying to the 2022/2023 recreational fishing season to only be open in September and October of 2022. This is expected to reduce the chances of recreational overharvest in the 2022/2023 fishing year, subsequent paybacks in the 2023/2024 recreational fishing season, and result in positive biological effects for the stock.

The need of the emergency measure is to reduce the likelihood of overfishing, reduce the probability of an ACL overage and subsequent payback for the recreational sector, and reduce the severity of a postseason payback that could possibly prevent the recreational season from opening in the 2023/2024 fishing year, and possibly prevent the stock from rebuilding by 2027.

Federal Register

Supporting Materials

Bulletins

Effective July 25, 2022: Gulf of Mexico Greater Amberjack Recreational Fixed Closed Season Modification. NOAA Fisheries Requests Public Comment

FB22-046: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Bulletin. For more information, Contact: Kelli O'Donnell: Kelli.ODonnell@noaa.gov; (727) 824-5305.
July 20, 2022 -

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on 07/25/2022