Recreational Harvest of Gray Triggerfish Closing to Vessels Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico Federal Waters on June 11, 2012

The recreational harvest of gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico federal waters will close, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) June 11, 2012, until 12:01 a.m. (local time) January 1, 2013. NOAA Fisheries Service has determined the 2012 recreational quota (annual catch target) of 217,100 pounds whole weight (ww) of gray triggerfish will be caught by this date. 

Impacts on the population brought about by recent reductions in the daily bag limit and an increase in minimum size to 14 inches were not fully included in the models used to produce the latest population estimates. A truer picture of the triggerfish population should become clearer when a full assessment scheduled for 2013 is complete. 

During the closure:

Recreational harvest or possession of gray triggerfish is prohibited. 

The closure applies in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a valid Gulf of Mexico reef fish charter/headboat permit.

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

Commercial harvest of gray triggerfish for the 2012 fishing year are being closely monitored. As of May 8, 2012, approximately 64 percent of the 60,900 pounds ww quota has been landed. The commercial sector will be closed to fishing for gray triggerfish once the commercial quota (annual catch target) is projected to be harvested.