WHAT/WHEN:

  • The commercial harvest of red snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on November 7, 2018, and unless specified otherwise, will open on July 8, 2019, for the 2019 commercial fishing season. During the commercial closure, all sale or purchase of red snapper is prohibited.
  • All harvest or possession of red snapper in or from federal waters is now prohibited, as the recreational fishing season is also closed for 2018.

WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:

  • The 2018 commercial catch limit is 124,815 pounds whole weight. Commercial landings are projected to reach the commercial catch limit. According to the accountability measure, harvest should close to prevent the annual catch limit from being exceeded.

AFTER THE CLOSURE:

  • The closure applies in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a federal commercial permit for South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper.
  • The prohibition on sale or purchase during a closure for red snapper does not apply to fish that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m. on November 7, 2018, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

This bulletin provides only a summary of the existing regulations. Full regulations can be found in the Federal Registeror at https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=383bc195ccbeab4fd6bec1c24905df34&node=sp50.12.622.i&rgn=div6#se50.12.622_1193.