The commercial longline component for golden tilefish in federal waters of the South Atlantic will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on March 14, 2019. The closure applies to longline endorsement holders for golden tilefish.
WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:
- On January 4, 2019, a final rule implemented Regulatory Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region to revise the total catch limit for golden tilefish from 323,000 pounds gutted weight to 331,740 pounds gutted weight.
- The 2019 commercial catch limit for the golden tilefish longline component is now 248,805 pounds gutted weight. Commercial landings information indicates that the commercial catch limit for the longline component will be met by at 12:01 a.m., local time, on March 14, 2019, and harvest therefore must close.
DURING AND AFTER THE CLOSURE:
- During the closure, vessels with a golden tilefish longline endorsement are not eligible to commercially harvest golden tilefish using hook-and-line gear and are limited to the recreational bag and possession limits when the recreational sector is open.
- Vessels that do not have longline endorsements, but have South Atlantic snapper-grouper unlimited permits, may commercially harvest golden tilefish until the hook-and-line quota is reached.
- 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 March 14, 2019, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.
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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