NOAA Fisheries boosts 2011 quota for red grouper
NEW ORLEANS - Over the next two months, commercial fishing boats in the Gulf of Mexico can take more than twice as much red grouper from federal waters than an earlier limit allowed, and the bag limit doubles for recreational fishermen.
Federal fisheries official Roy Crabtree says landings were lower than expected last year, and a new population assessment supports adding 1.2 million pounds to this year's total quota.
That's a 21 percent increase for the year, with two months left.
Starting Nov. 2, the commercial share increases from 4.3 million to 5.2 million pounds.
About 550,000 pounds remained under the old limit, compared to nearly 1.5 million under the new one.
The recreational bag limit increases from two to four red grouper, with four remaining the total bag limit for all grouper.