NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule for gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf). This rule increases the gray triggerfish catch limits for the commercial and recreational sectors.
When Rule Will Take Effect:
- Regulations will be effective July 29, 2021.
What This Means:
- The gray triggerfish total catch limit will be 456,900 pounds (lbs) whole weight (ww).
- The gray triggerfish sector allocation of 79% recreational and 21% commercial is retained.
- The recreational annual catch limit will be 360,951 lbs ww and the commercial annual catch limit will be 95,949 lbs ww.
- The recreational annual catch target will be 274,323 lbs ww and the commercial annual catch target will be 88,273 lbs ww.
Formal Federal Register Name/Number: 86 FR 34159, published June 29, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why are the catch limits increasing?
- A gray triggerfish interim analysis, completed in 2020, showed an increase in abundance of the gray triggerfish population.
- The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee determined the interim analysis suitable for providing catch advice and recommended an increase to catch levels through 2023.
What are the current recreational and commercial gray triggerfish management measures, including when this rule is effective?
- Fishing Year: January 1 - December 31
- Seasonal Closure: January 1 – end of February and June 1 - July 31
- Size Limit: 15 inch fork length
- Accountability Measures: inseason closure. Payback of any overage of the annual catch limit only if the stock is overfished
- Bag Limit: 1 fish per person within the 20 aggregate reef fish bag limit
- 2021 annual catch limit: 360,951 lbs whole weight
- Prior annual catch limit (for reference only): 241,200 lbs whole weight
- 2021 annual catch target: 274,323 lbs whole weight
- Prior annual catch target (for reference only): 217,100 lbs whole weight
- Fishing Year: January 1 - December 31
- Seasonal Closure: June 1 - July 31
- Size Limit: 14 inch fork length
- Accountability Measures: inseason closure and payback of any overage of the annual catch limit regardless of stock status
- Trip Limit: 16 fish
- 2021 annual catch limit: 95,949 lbs whole weight
- Prior annual catch limit (for reference only): 64,100 lbs whole weight
- 2021 annual catch target: 88,273 lbs whole weight
- Prior annual catch target (for reference only): 60,900 lbs whole weight
Where can I find more information on the Framework?
- Contact NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office
By Mail: Kelli O’Donnell
NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505
By FAX: (727) 824-5308
By Phone: (727) 824-5305
- The Framework may be found online at the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office Web site at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/framework-action-modification-gray-triggerfish-catch-limits.
- Additional information on management of gray triggerfish in the Gulf may be found at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/management-plan/gulf-mexico-reef-fish-fishery-management-plan.
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