PUERTO RICO, US - The commercial harvest of federally managed wrasses will be closed in federal waters around Puerto Rico at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on October 20, 2014.
The 2015 fishing season will reopen at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on January 1, 2015. During the closure, wrasses caught in federal waters may not be purchased or sold. Species included in the wrasses fishery management unit include hogfish (Lachnolaimus maximus), puddingwife (Halichoeres radiatus), and Spanish hogfish (Bodianus rufus).
NOAA Fisheries has determined that the annual catch limit for commercial wrasses in the federal waters around Puerto Rico was exceeded, triggering accountability measures to reduce the length of the season in the 2014 fishing year by the amount necessary to ensure landings do not exceed the catch limit again.
The US Caribbean federal waters around Puerto Rico consist of those waters extending from the nine nautical mile seaward boundary of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico out to 200 nautical miles offshore.
This action complies with regulations implemented under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and is necessary to protect these resources.