NOAA Fisheries has announced a closure to recreational harvest or red grouper in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will begin on July 21 and continue through the rest of 2023.
The closure was spurred by landings information which indicate the 2023 recreational annual catch target of 1,840,000 pounds gutted weight is projected to be met on July 20.
During the recreational closure, the bag and possession limit are zero for red grouper in or from federal waters of the Gulf. The prohibition on possession of Gulf red grouper also applies in Gulf state waters for a vessel issued a valid federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish.
If red grouper recreational landings exceed the annual catch limit (ACL) in a given year, the length of that following year’s recreational fishing season will be reduced to ensure the recreational ACT is not exceeded in that following year.
For more information, visit www.fisheries.noaa.gov.