Illustrations by Diane Rome Peebles

Illustrations by Diane Rome Peebles

The commercial harvest of greater amberjack in Gulf of Mexico federal waters will close, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) July 19 2015, until 12:01 a.m. (local time) January 1, 2016. NOAA Fisheries has determined the 2015 commercial quota (annual catch target) of 409,000 pounds whole weight of greater amberjack will be caught by this date.

Therefore, beginning 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 19 2015, all commercial harvest, possession, sale, or purchase of greater amberjack in or from Gulf of Mexico federal waters is prohibited. Any person aboard a vessel for which a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued must comply with such federal regulations regardless of where the fish are harvested. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to sale or purchase of greater amberjack that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, July 19, 2015, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

This closure is necessary to protect the greater amberjack population. This population is considered overfished (the population is too low) and undergoing overfishing (too many are being caught each year).

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