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Greater Amberjack Input Needed from Fishers!

If you are involved in catching greater amberjack recreationally or commercially, or work at a wholesale or retail fish house, we would like to hear from you!!  The 2020-2023 Greater Amberjack Visioning Program is funded by NOAA to help develop a research program that is informed by fishers like yourself.  Florida Sea Grant is looking for input from recreational, commercial, headboat/charterboat captains and mates to tell us what they are seeing on the water about greater amberjack.  The program goal of the research project is to develop additional data, assessment approaches, and knowledge to improve greater amberjack abundance estimates.Kevin Krueger catches greater amberjack off oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico

Greater amberjack is a long-lived fish (~17 years) that reproduces around 4 years of age and can grow to 200 pounds and 6 feet long.  Greater amberjack are distributed throughout the globe, and can be found in the Mediterranean, Pacific, Indian Ocean, Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico. Greater amberjack is a good tasting fish and makes a great smoked fish dip. There are two similar species, the lesser amberjack and the banded rudderfish.

Greater amberjack is considered overfished in the Gulf of Mexico.  As a result, the season is closed most of the year except for the months of May, August, September, and October, in state and federal waters compared to the year around open season in the South Atlantic.  The minimum fork length is 34” in the Gulf compared to 28” in the Atlantic, with the same daily recreational bag limit of one fish per angler.  Overfishing means the rate of fish being caught is too high, and above the maximum sustainable yield.  Overfished means the population is down overall.

A typical interview will be conducted via phone and should take no longer than 15-20 minutes.  The interviews will be recorded and the responses will be confidential and anonymous.  The results of the information we get from fishers that is shared during the interview process will help researchers understand what is happening with the greater amberjack fishery in order to guide future research for this species. This is part of a larger project, and Sea Grant agents from Texas to Virginia are interviewing people about greater amberjack.  More information regarding this study can be found on the Florida Sea Grant Greater Amberjack Website.  To participate in an interview or for more information, please contact Shelly Krueger, Florida Sea Grant agent for the UF/IFAS Monroe County Extension, 305-292-4501 and shellykrueger@ufl.edu.

 

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