Beginning November 2nd, 2011 fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico can take home more of one of the region's most popular species-Red Grouper. Taken from a NOAA Southeastern Fishery BulletinNOAA Fisheries Service announces a final rule that increases the red grouper bag limit from two to four fish in the four-fish grouper aggregate bag limit. The rule also increases the commercial quota of red grouper. Because red grouper is a part of the shallow-water grouper complex, this also requires an increase in the shallow-water grouper quota. The final rule will be effective November 2, 2011.
Recreational bag limit The rule increases the red grouper bag limit from two to four fish in the four-fish grouper aggregate bag limit. This will allow the recreational sector the opportunity to harvest its allocation which was increased from 1.36 mp to 1.65 mp for 2011.
Commercial red grouper quota The rule increases the 2011 red grouper quota from the existing 4.32 million pounds (mp) to 5.23 mp. The rule also sets the red grouper quotas for 2012-2015, which incrementally increase from 5.37 mp in 2012 to 5.72 mp in 2015. Finally, the rule adjusts the 2011-2015 shallow-water grouper quotas to reflect the increases in the red grouper quota. For fishermen holding red grouper individual fishing quota (IFQ) shares, additional allocation for 2011 will be posted to their accounts by the close of business on November 2, 2011. Note the increase in the shallow-water grouper quota only reflects the increase in the red grouper quota and will not result in any additional gag or other shallow-water grouper allocation.
Reminder to red grouper IFQ shareholdersAdditional red grouper allocation will be issued to your shareholder account, not your vessel account. To harvest your additional 2011 red grouper allocation, you must transfer allocation from your shareholder account to your vessel account prior to your landing notification. Directions for transferring allocation to your vessel account can be found in the IFQ Trouble Shooting Guide which can be found at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/ifqgt/main.html#.