NAPLES — Time is running out to catch greater amberjack this year in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The National Marine Fisheries Service announced that recreational harvest and possession of greater amberjack will be prohibited starting at midnight Friday until Dec. 31.
The prohibition applies to federal waters, which extend nine nautical miles from shore.
In addition, a person aboard a vessel that has a federal charter boat permit for Gulf reef fish must also abide by the closure in state waters.
The closure is triggered under federal fisheries laws intended to prevent overfishing of amberjack.
In 2008, federal fisheries regulators set a recreational harvest quota of 1.4 million pounds of amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico.
Recreational landings data indicate the quota has been reached, regulators say.