Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bummer - Hogfish Closure

The National Marine Fisheries Commission has Annual Catch Limits (ACL) for a lot of species of fish for both recreational and commercial fishermen.  For some reason this year there is a spike in the recreation landings so it appears that Hogfish will be closed from August 24 until the first of the year.

This has been a great year for Hogfish so just about everyone and their brother has caught quite a few.  That is how it is with fishing and farming, some years are better than others and since the NFMC uses annual statistics, this year Hogfish will close for recreational anglers.

Since the NMFC isn't the greatest at getting information out, I am sure a few people will not get the word and get fined or worse.  Also a lot of people plan their diving vacations for this time of year so they can harvest Hogfish along with Lobster, Grouper and Snapper.

Now if you go to the link above you can see that the NMFS isn't all that great on updating their recreational data.  All of the Grouper species which are close are not even close to their ACL limits so the closures have been overly effective.  Instead of closing the season when there is obvious reason to close it, the NMFC just shuts it down because they can.  The way thing should work is like the Hogfish closure, close when it make some kind of sense instead of because you feel like it.

The NMFS can also use gear limits to control ACL.  Hogfish are primarily a spearfishing target so they could close Hogfish to spear fishermen using tanks or spearfishing in general.  There are lots of ways to do things and the NMFC seems to have a talent for screwing that up.

So anyway I am sorry that Hogfish will not be on the menu later this year.  Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

 Tight lines,

 Capt. Dallas

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