Grouper harvest off Florida to reopen May 1

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The recreational and commercial harvest of shallow-water groupers will reopen May 1 in all Atlantic Ocean waters, including those off Monroe County, Florida, the state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced yesterday.

The harvest of groupers has been closed since Jan. 1 to address overfishing of grouper in the Atlantic.

A three-fish-per-person aggregate daily recreational bag limit applies for all groupers in Atlantic and Monroe County waters, and the captain and crew of for-hire vessels are not allowed to keep any species in the aggregate grouper bag limit.

Anglers are prohibited from taking more than one gag or black grouper (not both) within the aggregate grouper limit in Atlantic and Monroe County waters. Dehooking tools must be aboard commercial and recreational vessels for use as needed to remove hooks from Atlantic reef fish.

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