FWC changes gag, red grouper management in Gulf, soon achieving consistency w/federal protections
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943
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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
voted Nov. 16 to change how gag and red grouper are managed in Gulf
of Mexico state waters.
The decision came during day one of the two-day November
Commission meeting in Key Largo.
The changes, which include additional protections for gag
grouper while increasing the bag limit for red grouper, will make
state protections consistent with gag and red grouper federal rules
in the Gulf of Mexico.
"We are listening and are very concerned about the economy, jobs
and managing resources for longevity as well," Commissioner Ron
Bergeron said following stakeholder conversation.
Changes for red grouper will take effect Dec. 30 in Gulf of
Mexico state waters (excluding Monroe County) and will include
increasing the recreational bag limit from two to four fish.
Commissioners also voted to continue the current gag grouper
closure in Gulf of Mexico state waters (excluding Monroe County)
into 2012. The closure was set to expire at the end of 2011.
This measure will help the state achieve consistency with gag
grouper management efforts affecting federal Gulf waters.
The FWC believes applying the same recreational open and closed
harvest seasons for gag grouper in Gulf state waters as in federal
offshore waters would maximize fishing opportunities for anglers
and charter boat operators along Florida's Gulf coast.
Federal managers are currently working on a plan to further
protect gag grouper, which is overfished and undergoing overfishing
in the Gulf. The FWC will revisit state gag grouper management
efforts in February 2012, once federal rules are solidified.
learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and click on
"Commission Meetings" and "Agenda."