NOAA Shuts Down South Atlantic Gag Grouper
Recreational and commercial harvest of gag grouper in federal waters of the South Atlantic will close Oct. 23. Closing the fishery, which was scheduled to remain open through December, will devastate commercial and offshore charter captains on the Atlantic coast from North Carolina through Florida.
This ruling comes on the heels of a study that found NOAA’s data collection could be overestimating angler effort by as much as 30 to 40 percent. Angler effort is part of the equation used to estimate total catch as well as stock assessments. The fishery is closing because likely erroneous NOAA data reports that recreational and commercial landings have reached the limits set for 2023.
Recreational harvest is scheduled to re-open for the South Atlantic on May 1.
For more information, including a similar closure for Gulf of Mexico fisheries, see www.coastalanglermag.com