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Reminder: Changes to Commercial and Recreational Fishing Seasons for Gag in the South Atlantic Region

May 31, 2024

FB24-037: South Atlantic Fishery Bulletin: For more information, contact: South Atlantic Branch, sero.temporary.sfd@noaa.gov (Phones are currently down)


  • The 2024 commercial and recreational fishing seasons for gag in federal waters of the South Atlantic both started at 12:01 a.m., (local time), on May 1, 2024.
  • NOAA Fisheries will announce the closure of the commercial fishing season for gag if the commercial annual catch limit of 62,922 pounds gutted weight is met or is projected to be met before December 31, 2024.  As of May 31st, the estimated commercial landings for gag is 33,107 gutted weight, which is 52.6% of the commercial annual catch limit.
  • The recreational fishing season for gag will end at 12:01 a.m., (local time) on June 15, 2024.  June 15, 2024, is when NOAA Fisheries estimates recreational landings will reach the 2024 recreational annual catch limit of 133,075 pounds gutted weight.


Why This is Happening:

  • Effective October 23, 2023, the final rule for Amendment 53 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 53) specified the 2024 commercial and recreational annual catch limits for gag. 
  • NOAA Fisheries was also required to reduce the length of the 2024 recreational season because the annual catch limit was exceeded for the recreational sector in 2023.
  • To end overfishing and rebuild the gag stock, the final rule for Amendment 53 also reduced the commercial trip limit for gag and established a recreational vessel limit for gag and black grouper.
  • Federal regulations required NOAA Fisheries to reduce the 2024 commercial annual catch limit because commercial landings in 2023 exceeded the commercial annual catch limit, the combined commercial and recreational catch limit was exceeded in 2023, and gag are overfished. 


This bulletin provides only a summary of the existing regulations.  Full regulations can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR part 622 or at https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-50/chapter-VI/part-622/subpart-I/.

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 727-201-2354 or please e-mail sero.temporary.permits@noaa.gov

Media Contact: Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750 

Recreational Fishing Coordinator: Sean Meehan, 727-385-5202


Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on May 31, 2024