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State follows feds rules on AJ, triggerfish size limits

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on Thursday proposed raising the minimum harvest size for greater amberjack and gray triggerfish in Gulf of Mexico state waters.

The FWC is proposing these rule changes to be consistent with new regulations in Gulf federal waters, which extend beyond nine nautical miles offshore of Florida.

Federal fisheries managers recently implemented a stock rebuilding plan for greater amberjack and gray triggerfish in Gulf federal waters.

Greater amberjack in the Gulf are considered to be overfished (low stock abundance) and undergoing overfishing (excessive harvesting pressure), and gray triggerfish in the Gulf are considered to be undergoing overfishing.

The FWC is proposing rule amendments consistent with the Gulf federal regulations by increasing the recreational minimum harvest size for greater amberjack from 28 to 30 inches fork length and increasing the commercial and recreational minimum harvest size for gray triggerfish from 12 to 14 inches fork length in Gulf state waters.

A final public hearing on the proposed rule amendments will be held in December in Key West.