Gray Triggerfish Numbers Increasing in Gulf

An interim analysis of gray triggerfish, using video surveys to estimate abundance, showed that the gray triggerfish stock size has been increasing, especially in the eastern Gulf, and that catch limits can be increased. The Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee recommended increasing the gray triggerfish acceptable biological catch limit to 456,900 pounds whole weight, which allows the Council to increase the gray triggerfish annual catch limit. In an effort to realize potential increases in catch limits before the end of the 2021 recreational fishing season, the Council decided to address changes to the gray triggerfish acceptable biological catch, annual catch limits, and annual catch targets in a standalone document. The Council plans to take final action on this document at its January 2021 meeting. The Council is also considering modifications to the gray triggerfish recreational fixed closed seasons and will consider that action in a separate framework action that will also address changes to the vermilion snapper recreational bag limit.

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