Recreational closure of red grouper harvest in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico

The recreational harvest of red grouper in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will close at 12:01 am, local time, on July 21, 2023. Red grouper recreational harvest will be closed until the 2024 fishing year begins on January 1, 2024.

Why the red grouper closure is happening:

  • Landings information received from the Southeast Fisheries Science Center and Southeast Regional Office indicates the 2023 recreational annual catch target (ACT) of 1,840,000 pounds gutted weight (lb gw) is projected to be met on July 20, 2023.
  • In accordance with the regulations, NOAA Fisheries must close harvest when the recreational ACT has been met or is projected to be met. Therefore, this closure will begin on July 21, 2023.

During the closure:

  • During the recreational closure, the bag and possession limit are zero for red grouper in or from federal waters of the Gulf.

The prohibition on possession of Gulf red grouper also applies in Gulf state waters for a vessel issued a valid federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish.