Thursday, May 16, 2019

Commercial Harvest of Greater Amberjack in Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico to Close June 9


  • Commercial harvest of greater amberjack will reopen in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) at 12:01 a.m., local time, on June 1, 2019, and will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on June 9, 2019.
  • The adjusted 2019 Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) commercial quota for greater amberjack is 337,503 lbs.
  • The 2019 commercial quota was reduced due to an overage in 2018.
  • Commercial harvest for the 2020 fishing year will reopen at 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2020.


  • The latest report for 2018 greater amberjack commercial landings indicates 331,403 lbs were harvested, which is 12,263 lbs greater than the 2018 commercial annual catch limit (ACL).
  • As a result, regulations require a reduction in the 2019 commercial ACL and commercial quota by the amount of the previous year ACL overage.
  • NOAA Fisheries projects that the 2019 adjusted commercial quota will be harvested by June 9, 2019.
  • This action is necessary to protect the greater amberjack population. This population is currently considered overfished (the population size is too low) and undergoing overfishing (too many fish being harvested)


  • Any person aboard a vessel for which a federal commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued must comply with the closure regardless of where the fish are harvested.
  • No greater amberjack caught in Gulf federal waters after 12:01 a.m., local time, June 9, 2019, may be purchased, bartered, traded, or sold.
  • The prohibition of sale does not apply to trade in greater amberjack that were harvested, landed ashore and bartered, traded, or sold before 12:01 a.m., local time, June 9, 2019, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor

CONTACT: Kelli O'Donnell, 727-824-5305,