Date: Nov. 8, 2013
Commercial Harvest of Gag Closing to Vessels Fishing in the South Atlantic Federal Waters on November 13, 2013
The commercial harvest of gag in federal waters of the South Atlantic from North Carolina to Key West, Florida, will be closed, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time), November 13, 2013, through the remainder of the January 1 to December 31, 2013, fishing year. A seasonal closure is in place for gag from January 1 until May 1. Therefore, commercial harvest of gag will not reopen until May 1, 2014. The commercial annual catch limit for gag is 326,722 pounds.
The operator of a vessel that has been issued a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper and is landing gag for sale, must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such gag prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, November 13, 2013. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to sale or purchase of gag that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, November 13, 2013, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.
Recreational harvest of gag remains open. All harvest and possession of gag in or from closed federal waters of the South Atlantic is subject to the applicable bag and possession limits, and the sale or purchase of gag taken from closed federal waters is prohibited. In addition, those bag and possession limits, and the prohibition on sale or purchase, apply in state and federal waters of the South Atlantic for a vessel for which a valid federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued.
A seasonal closure is in place for gag from January 1 until May 1, therefore both recreational and commercial sectors will be closed from January 1 until May 1, 2014.