Special Announcement Regarding New Regulations for Atlantic Grouper, Reef Fish Gear, and Sharks
On January 19, 2010, the Atlantic grouper regulation changes mentioned on pages 10, 11 and 14 of the January 2010 edition of the Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations will take effect in state waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Monroe County. These changes include:
• January through April closed to all harvest of Atlantic shallow-water groupers (gag, red, black, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin, yellowmouth, and tiger groupers). The 2010 closed season in state waters of the Atlantic and Monroe County begins January 19, 2010. In subsequent years, the closed season will begin January 1
• Grouper aggregate bag limit reduced to 3 fish per person per day
• No more than one fish within the grouper aggregate may be gag or black grouper, either individually or in combination
• Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels
Until January 19, 2010, the aggregate bag limit for Atlantic grouper is 5-fish per person per day and no more than two of these fish may be gag or black grouper, either individually or in combination.
Atlantic Reef Fish Gear
The dehooking device requirement for reef fish in Atlantic state waters described on pages 10-12 and 14 of the January 2010 edition of the Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations will take effect January 19, 2010.
On January 19, 2010, the following new shark regulations will take effect:
• Size limit of 54" fork length for all sharks except Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose, blacktip, bonnethead, finetooth, and smooth dogfish
• Harvest of Caribbean sharpnose, silky, and sandbar shark prohibited
• All sharks must be landed in whole condition
Here is the required type of dehooker needed in Atlantic Federal waters per the MYFWC web site:
Fishers on all vessels fishing for reef fish in the Gulf and federal waters of the Atlantic, are required to possess and use a dehooking device to remove hooks embedded in reef fish with minimal damage. The dehooking device must be constructed to allow the hook to be secured and the barb shielded without re-engaging during the removal process. It must be blunt and all edges rounded, and it must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and styles used in the reef fish fishery.