Atlantic black sea bass is in a federal rebuilding plan that started in 2006 and is scheduled to be completed in 2016. The 2011 stock assessment for Atlantic black sea bass found that overfishing is still occurring.
In an effort to continue rebuilding the fishery, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council recently increased the recreational minimum size limit from 12 to 13 inches and retained the existing daily bag limit of five fish per person in Atlantic federal waters.
In December 2012, the FWC Commission also approved rule changes to make black sea bass size and bag limits in state waters of the Atlantic consistent with the federal limits. The new minimum size limit for recreational harvest of Atlantic black sea bass will be 13 inches total length, and the new daily bag limit will be five fish per person with no vessel limits. These changes will become effective in state waters of the Atlantic on February 1, 2013.
These new regulations are designed to rebuild the Atlantic black sea bass fishery and do not affect black sea bass regulations in the Gulf of Mexico. A fully rebuilt fishery should allow for longer recreational seasons in federal waters and increased opportunities for recreational anglers.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.