FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: July 7, 2016
Rich Malinowski, rich.malinowski@noaa.gov  
727-824-5305, FAX 727-824-5308  
FB16-045
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Commercial Harvest of Greater Amberjack Closing in 
Gulf of Mexico Federal Waters on July 17th

The commercial harvest of greater amberjack in Gulf of Mexico federal waters will close, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) July 17, 2016, until 12:01 a.m. (local time) January 1, 2017.  NOAA Fisheries has determined the 2016 greater amberjack commercial quota (annual catch target) of 394,470 pounds whole weight will be caught by July 17, 2016. 

Therefore, beginning 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 17, 2016, 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 17, 2016, and was 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). 

This summary is not a substitute for the actual regulations.  We encourage you to read the full text of the regulations, available at  http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.