Recreational and commercial harvest of Atlantic migratory group cobia (from Georgia through New York) will open at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2018, in federal waters.
For recreational fishermen:
- The recreational bag limit is one cobia per person per day, or six cobia per vessel per day, whichever is more restrictive.
- The recreational minimum size limit is 36 inches fork length.
For commercial fishermen:
- The commercial trip limit is two cobia per person per day, or six cobia per vessel per day, whichever is more restrictive.
- The commercial minimum size limit is 33 inches fork length.
WHY THIS OPENING IS HAPPENING:
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission recently approved an Interstate Fishery Management Plan
that includes changes to commercial and recreational regulations for Atlantic cobia in state waters. The states expect to implement this plan by April 2018. More information on the changes to cobia harvest in state waters may be found at www.asmfc.org
If the recreational and total catch limits are exceeded in 2017, NOAA Fisheries may take action to reduce the recreational vessel limit and, if necessary, the length of the recreational fishing season, by the amount necessary to ensure recreational landings do not exceed the 2018 recreational catch limit. The recreational vessel limit and the length of the recreational fishing season will not be reduced if NOAA Fisheries determines, based on the best scientific information available, that a recreational vessel limit and fishing season reduction are unnecessary.