Gulf Council Considers Comprehensive Reef Fish IFQs

All commercial reef fish species may soon be included in a comprehensive reef fish IFQ program.The Gulf Council recently voted to consider adding all reef fish to the successful IFQ program already working for red snapper and coming on-line for grouper and tilefish in January. When implemented, it will be one of the largest and most modern and effective management systems in the U.S.

With comprehensive reef fish IFQs, progress to end overfishing will continue and potential problems, such as fishing effort shifting to less regulated species, will be prevented. It will also reduce wasted fish.

The remaining reef fish include vermilion snapper, greater amberjack, gray triggerfish, yellowtail snapper and dozens more. At its June meeting, the Council is expected to refine the fishery management plan process and timelines for getting started.

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