50 CFR § 622.38 - Bag and possession limits.
(a) Additional applicability provisions for Gulf reef fish.
(1) Section 622.11(a) provides the general applicability for bag and possession limits. However, § 622.11(a) notwithstanding, bag and possession limits also apply for Gulf reef fish in or from the EEZ to a person aboard a vessel that has on board a commercial permit for Gulf reef fish -
(i) When trawl gear or entangling net gear is on board. A vessel is considered to have trawl gear on board when trawl doors and a net are on board. Removal from the vessel of all trawl doors or all nets constitutes removal of trawl gear.
(ii) When a longline or buoy gear is on board and the vessel is fishing or has fished on a trip in the reef fish longline and buoy gear restricted area specified in § 622.35(c). A vessel is considered to have a longline on board when a power-operated longline hauler, a cable of diameter and length suitable for use in the longline fishery, and gangions are on board. Removal of any one of these three elements, in its entirety, constitutes removal of a longline.
(iii) For a species/species group when its quota has been reached and closure has been effected, provided that no commercial quantities of Gulf reef fish, i.e., Gulf reef fish in excess of applicable bag/possession limits, are on board as specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.
(2) A person aboard a vessel that has a Federal commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish and commercial quantities of Gulf reef fish, i.e., Gulf reef fish in excess of applicable bag/possession limits, may not possess Gulf reef fish caught under a bag limit.
(b) Bag limits -
(2) Groupers, combined, excluding goliath grouper - 4 per person per day, but not to exceed 1 speckled hind or 1 warsaw grouper per vessel per day, or 2 gag or 2 red grouper per person per day. However, no grouper may be retained by the captain or crew of a vessel operating as a charter vessel or headboat. The bag limit for such captain and crew is zero. (Note: Nassau grouper in the Gulf EEZ may not be harvested or possessed, as specified in § 622.181(b)(4).)
(3) Red snapper - 2. However, no red snapper may be retained by the captain or crew of a vessel operating as a charter vessel or headboat. The bag limit for such captain and crew is zero. See § 622.23(a)(1) regarding the bag limit applicability for states with an active delegation of state management of the red snapper private angling component. A person subject to the private angling component bag limit under an active delegation of state management must be in compliance with the fishing license (permit) requirements of the state in which they intend to land the fish and may not possess more red snapper in the Gulf EEZ than may be possessed in that state.
(4) Snappers, combined, excluding red, lane, and vermilion snapper - 10. In addition, within the 10-fish aggregate snapper bag limit, no more than 5 fish may be mutton snapper.
(5) Gulf reef fish, combined, excluding those specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) and paragraphs (b)(6) and (7) of this section - 20. In addition, within the 20-fish aggregate reef fish bag limit, no more than 1 fish may be gray triggerfish and no more than 10 fish may be vermilion snapper.
(6) Banded rudderfish and lesser amberjack, combined - 5.
(7) Hogfish in the Gulf EEZ except south of 25°09′ N. lat. off the west coast of Florida - 5. See § 622.187(b)(3)(ii) for the hogfish bag and possession limits in the Gulf EEZ south of 25°09′ N. lat. off the west coast of Florida.
(c) Possession limits for vessels with a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for reef fish. A person, or a vessel in the case of speckled hind or Warsaw grouper, on a trip that spans more than 30 hours may possess, at any time during the trip, no more than two daily bag limits, provided such trip is on a vessel that is operating as a charter vessel or headboat, the vessel has two licensed operators aboard, each passenger is issued and has in possession a receipt issued on behalf of the vessel that verifies the date and time of departure and length of the trip, and the entire trip occurs on days when the harvest and possession of the applicable reef fish species are allowed.
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