Grouper Quotas

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Annual limits imposed last week have effectively closed grouper-fishing areas that are 300 feet or deeper until January.

The new rules halted deep water grouper harvesting, which reached the one million-pound quota.

The quota for shallow-water grouper is 8.8 million pounds, only 5.31 million pounds of which can be red grouper.

Quotas also affect shallow-water recreational fishermen who are now limited to two red grouper per trip, instead of five.

The quotas are a first step in a ten-step plan to stop overfishing in the Gulf of Mexico; though regulators and fishermen agree it is difficult to predict the quotas' effects.