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Gulf of Mexico Gray Triggerfish Catch Limit Reduction

16 May 2012, at 1:00am

US - NOAA Fisheries Service has announced new regulations to control the harvest of gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico. The temporary rule reduces the catch limits and sets commercial and recreational annual catch targets (quotas).

The rule was published in the Federal Register 14 May, 2012, and is effective immediately. This rule will be effective for 180-days. NOAA Fisheries Service may extend the rule, but needs to allow the public to comment on the rule before an extension can take place.

Gulf of Mexico gray triggerfish are overfished (the population is too low) and undergoing overfishing (too many are being caught each year). The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) asked NOAA Fisheries Service to put in place temporary regulations to reduce gray triggerfish overfishing while they work on long-term measures to end overfishing and let the population increase in size.

To reduce overfishing, NOAA Fisheries Service's temporary rule reduces the recreational and commercial annual catch limits by approximately 50 per cent to 241,200 and 64,100 pounds whole weight, respectively. The rule also sets annual catch targets (quotas) at 217,100 and 60,900 pounds whole weight, respectively.

Other gray triggerfish regulations are unchanged. This includes the commercial and recreational minimum size limit of 14-inches fork length and inclusion of gray triggerfish in the recreational 20-reef fish aggregate bag limit.

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