taly, leatherjacket, leatherneck
Managed by: SAFMC
The Gray Triggerfish has large incisor teeth and a deep laterally compressed body covered with tough, sandpaper-like skin. Unlike their cousin, the filefish, triggerfish have more than one dorsal spine. The action of this spine gives the triggerfish its (common) name. The first spine is large, and when erect it remains so until the smaller second spine is deflexed, triggering the first. the gray triggerfish is easily distinguished by its drab color from the queen triggerfish, which is vividly colored.
The gray triggerfish is found on both sides of the tropical and temperate Atlantic from Massachusetts to Brazil, and from England southward along the coast of Africa. Along the southwestern United States, it typically inhabits hard bottom areas such as wercks, rock outcroppings and coral reefs in waters 80-300 feet in depth. Spawning occurs off shore during the spring and summer, when fish are 3 years old or about 12 inches long. Unlike most reef fish, triggerfish have demersal eggs that are deposited in guarded nests. Age and growth studies suggest that females of the species grow larger and live longer than males, reaching lengths of more than 22 inches. Triggerfish use undulating motions of their dorsal and anal fins to ascend and descend vertically and to hover over the bottom searching for food. The species uses its powerful teeth to dislodge and crush small mussels, sea urchins and barnacles. It may also feed on plankton.
South Atlantic Federal Regulations
(For areas three-200 miles off the coasts of NC, SC, GA, and East Florida)
Note: Effective September 8, 2012 the commercial fishery for the Deepwater Complex (yellowedge grouper, blueline tilefish, silk snapper, misty grouper, queen snapper, sand tilefish, black snapper, and blackfin snapper) is closed. Commercial harvest of gray triggerfish also closes on that date. Effective September 11, 2012, the commercial fishery for the Porgy Complex (jolthead, knobbed, saucereye, whitebone and scup) and for
yellowtail snapper is closed. See the Fishery Bulletin for additional details. UPDATE 09/10/12 NOAA Fisheries has determined that the Commercial Yellowtail Snapper Fishery will NOT Close on 9/11/12. See Fishery Bulletin for details.
Limited access permit required.