The commercial longline component for golden tilefish in federal waters of the South Atlantic will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on February 18, 2020. The closure applies to all harvest or possession of golden tilefish with longline fishing gear.
WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:
- Only golden tilefish longline endorsement holders are allowed to harvest golden tilefish with longline fishing gear.
- The 2020 commercial catch limit for the golden tilefish longline component is 248,805 pounds gutted weight. NOAA Fisheries predicts this catch limit will be reached by February 18, 2020, and according to the accountability measure, harvest must close to prevent the catch limit from being exceeded.
DURING AND AFTER THE CLOSURE:
- Golden tilefish harvested with longline fishing gear may not be sold or purchased after the closure. The prohibition on sale or purchase during the closure does not apply to fish that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, on February 18, 2020, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.
- During the longline closure, a vessel with a golden tilefish longline endorsement may not commercially harvest golden tilefish using hook-and-line fishing gear, and is limited to the golden tilefish recreational bag and possession limits when the recreational sector is open, without regard to where the golden tilefish was harvested (i.e. in state or federal waters).
- A vessel that does not have a longline endorsement, but has a commercial South Atlantic snapper-grouper unlimited permit, may commercially harvest golden tilefish with hook-and-line fishing gear until the hook-and-line catch limit is reached.
- The commercial longline component for golden tilefish in federal waters of the South Atlantic will open at 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2021.
This bulletin provides only a summary of the existing regulations. Full regulations can be found in the Federal Register or at https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=383bc195ccbeab4fd6bec1c24905df34&node=sp50.12.622.i&rgn=div6.
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Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750