The 2023 commercial and recreational harvest of gag in federal waters of the South Atlantic will close at 12:01 a.m., (local time), on October 23, 2023.
Why This Closure Is Happening:
- The final rule for Amendment 53 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, which revises and reduces the commercial and recreational catch limits for gag, will be effective on October 23, 2023.
- For the 2023 fishing year, the gag commercial catch limit will be 85,326 pounds gutted weight. Reports indicate that commercial landings have reached the 2023 revised commercial catch limit. The accountability measure requires commercial harvest to close when the commercial catch limit has been reached. This closure is necessary to protect the gag population.
- For the 2023 fishing year, the gag recreational catch limit will be 90,306 pounds gutted weight. Reports indicate that recreational landings have reached the 2023 revised recreational catch limit. The accountability measure requires recreational harvest to close when the recreational catch limit has been reached. This closure is necessary to protect the gag population.
During The Closure:
- Sale or purchase of any gag harvested in or from federal waters is prohibited.
- The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to gag that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold before 12:01 a.m., (local time) October 23, 2023, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.
- The bag and possession limits for gag in or from South Atlantic federal waters are zero.
- The restrictions on the bag and possession limits for gag and the prohibition on sale or purchase apply in the South Atlantic on board a vessel for which a valid Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued, without regard to where such species were harvested, i.e., in state or Federal waters.
- Commercial harvest for the 2024 fishing year in South Atlantic federal waters will open at 12:01 a.m., (local time,) on May 1, 2024, unless otherwise specified.
- Recreational harvest for the 2024 fishing year in South Atlantic federal waters will open at 12:01 a.m., (local time,) on May 1, 2024, unless otherwise specified.
- More information on Amendment 53 can be found at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/amendment-53-rebuilding-plan-gag-and-management-gag-and-black-grouper.
- 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#se50.12.622_1193.
Sign Up for Text Message Alerts – Find Out About Immediate Openings and Closures
NOAA's Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery related alerts via text message (SMS). Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.
Text alerts you may receive include:
- Immediate fishery openings and closures
- Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly
Sign up for one or more of the following groups:
- Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
- Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
- South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
- South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
- Caribbean Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text CARIBFISH to 888777
Quick Glance Contact List for the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office
Permits Mailbox: The Permits Office in St. Petersburg, Florida, now has a Permits mailbox in the front lobby (263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701). You can now drop off original permits for permit transfers. Envelopes with information labels will be provided so that your documents can be attached to the correct application. The mailbox will be checked daily. For more information, contact the Permits Office at 877-376-4877.
Media Contact: Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750
Recreational Fishing Coordinator: Sean Meehan, 727-385-5202