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Recreational Harvest Closures of Greater Amberjack and Gray Triggerfish in Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico

March 20, 2019

FB19-016 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Bulletin; For more information, contact: Lauren Waters, 727-824-5305 Lauren.Waters@noaa.gov


  • Recreational harvest of gray triggerfish in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) will close at 12:01 am, local time, on May 11, 2019.  The 2020 recreational fishing year begins January 1, 2020.  Recreational harvest will reopen March 1, 2020, following the January and February annual closure.   
  • Recreational harvest of greater amberjack is closed during November through April each year and will not reopen May 1, 2019.  Recreational harvest will reopen on August, 1, 2019, the start of the 2019/2020 fishing year.
  • In accordance with the regulations, NOAA Fisheries must close a fishery when the annual catch target has been or is projected to be met.  These closures are needed to prevent overfishing of the species (annual catch rate is too high).



Greater Amberjack

  • The fishing year is August through July.
  • Annual closures are November through April and June through July.  Thus, recreational harvest of greater amberjack can occur in August through October and in May, unless the annual catch target has been or is projected to be met.
  • The 2018/2019 recreational annual catch target is 902,185 pounds.  Data indicate the annual catch target was met during the August through October 2018 fishing season.

Gray Triggerfish

  • The fishing year is January through December.
  • Annual closures are January through February and June through July.
  • The 2019 recreational annual catch target is 217,100 pounds.  Projections indicate that recreational landings of gray triggerfish will be met as of May 11, 2019.



  • During the recreational closures, the bag and possession limits for greater amberjack and gray triggerfish in or from federal waters of the Gulf are zero.
  • The prohibition on possession of Gulf greater amberjack and gray triggerfish also applies in Gulf state waters for a vessel issued a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish.



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:

  • 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


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Other contacts:

Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707

            Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on May 15, 2019

Fishery Closures Catch Limits