NOAA Fisheries Boosts 2011 Quota for Red Grouper

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

New Orleans, LA (AP) - Over the next two months, commercial fishing
boats in the Gulf of Mexico can take more than twice as much red
grouper out of federal waters than previously allowed and the bag
limit has doubled for recreational anglers.

Starting Nov. 2, the total red grouper quota for 2011 will rise from 5.68 million to 6.88 million pounds -- a 21 percent increase for the year -- with 5.23 million pounds of that allocated to commercial boats, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

The recreational bag limit increases from two to four fish, with four remaining the total bag limit for all kinds of grouper.

Red groupers are bottom-dwelling fish that use their big mouths to smash and gulp the sea creatures they ambush, but also to clean
sediment away from holes in sea floor limestone, where they lurk.
They're hermaphrodites -- born female but turning into males as they
age. And they're good eating, with lean, firm white flesh.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council had asked NOAA
Fisheries to update its population assessment of the fish because
landings were lower than predicted last year, said Roy Crabtree,
southeast regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries Service. The
reassessment earlier this year supported the change, he said.

"We are pleased to be able to raise the quotas, while maintaining a sustainable population of this popular species," he said.

The earlier federal quota for 2011 had been 4.32 million pounds.
Commercial boats already had caught 3.77 million, fishery biologist
Andy Strelcheck said Monday. That would have left about 550,000
available to catch under the old limit, compared to 1.46 million
under the new ones.

"The landings this year for the commercial fishery, it's on track to meet the lower quota," he said.

Recreational fishermen had caught about 447,000 pounds by the
end of August, Strelcheck said. He said the total recreational
limit is now 1.65 million for 2011, up from 1.36 million.

Total quotas will rise gradually from 5.37 million in 2012 to 5.72 in 2015.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by dog Location: gone on Nov 1, 2011 at 06:34 AM
    This should wipe out the Red Grouper population, so we can all blame it on BP.
    • reply
      by Pro Business Conservative on Nov 1, 2011 at 09:43 AM in reply to dog
      Thanks dog. You're right. Eventually it will diminish the fish population. It's a conspiracy to tarnish the good reputation that BP has. I'm glad that others are speaking out in support of BP and the oil companies who give us our energy to enjoy a high standard of living.
      • reply
        by M on Nov 1, 2011 at 01:34 PM in reply to Pro Business Conservative
        I agree. BP is an incredible company with an awesome track record. I will continue to invest in BP and reap the benefits of their sucessful enterprise.
  • by Pro Business Conservative Location: Tallahassee on Nov 1, 2011 at 06:10 AM
    Just proof that we should trust BP and the oil companies. They were right afterall. BP did no harm to the Gulf as this story is proof. BP should have all the money they paid out returned to BP for the sake of thousands of stock holders that rely on BP stock in their portfolios. The Gulf should be thought of as our big drainage pond to support industry and jobs in the Lower 48. It's just sitting there waiting to be utilized and harvested.
  • by unemployed Location: louisiana-east point on Oct 31, 2011 at 11:32 PM
    thank you noaa and bp. that oil must have done the fish good this year. when i worked in the oil field the idiots claimed the rigs supported wildlife not destroyed it thank you bp maby we can catch more and then us fishermen can shut up bad mouthing the great oil companys.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 1, 2011 at 06:46 AM in reply to unemployed
      Did you really post this? People do not really have a problem with the oil rigs...they have a problem when it gushes billions of gallons of oil into the gulf. If you think that oil did nothing to the gulf in certain areas then you are dumber than you think. The oil rigs do provide an artifical reef for fish but the oil does nothing but destroy what it created when it is not properly contained.
      • reply
        by M on Nov 1, 2011 at 01:32 PM in reply to
        More oil naturally seeps from the Gulf floor each year than was spilled during the BP disaster. Don't think that natural oil isn't present already.
      • reply
        by unemployed on Nov 1, 2011 at 08:35 PM in reply to
        well you cant have it both ways. suck it less. freeze this winter or build a fire in the back yard. as long as there is drilling there will be polution.
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