NOAA Fisheries Service reminds fishermen that the area known as “The Edges” in the Gulf of Mexico is closed to all fishing from January 1 through April 30 each year.
All commercial and recreational fishing or possession of fish managed by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is prohibited in the closed area.
Possession is allowed when transiting the area if gear is stowed in accordance with federal regulations. The intent of the closure is to protect gag and other groupers during their respective spawning seasons.
The boundaries of "The Edges" closed area are within lines drawn between the following coordinates:
Northwest corner = 28º 51’N, 85º 16’W
Northeast corner = 28º 51’N, 85º 04’W
Southwest corner = 28º 14’N, 84º 54’W
Southeast corner = 28º 14’N, 84º 42’W
NOAA Fisheries Service also reminds fishermen of other closed areas in the same region as “The Edges.” These sites, Madison and Swanson and Steamboat Lumps marine reserves were implemented in 2000 to also protect gag and other grouper species. They are closed year round to reef fish fishing, but fishing for species other than reef fish is allowed in these areas from May through October.
Possession of fish species prohibited from harvest in either area is only allowed aboard a vessel in transit with fishing gear stowed in accordance to federal regulations.
The boundaries of the marine reserves are within lines drawn between the following coordinates:
Madison and Swanson
Northwest corner = 29°17'N, 85°50'W
Northeast corner = 29°17'N, 85°38'W
Southwest corner = 29°06'N, 85°50'W
Southeast corner = 29°06'N, 85°38'W
Northwest corner = 28°14'N, 84°48'W
Northeast corner = 28°14'N, 84°37'W
Southwest corner = 28°03'N, 84°48'W
Southeast corner = 28°03'N, 84°37'W