NOAA Fisheries Announces Limited Openings Of Red Snapper Season In South Atlantic Federal Waters
Each year, NOAA Fisheries announces the season opening dates for red snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic, in addition to the recreational season length. For the 2020 season:
- The recreational sector will open for harvest on weekends only on the following 4 days:
- July 10, 11, and 12, 2020 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) – The recreational season opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 10, 2020, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 13, 2020.
- July 17, 2020 (Friday) – The recreational season opens again at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 17, 2020, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 18, 2020.
- The commercial sector will open for harvest at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 13, 2020, and will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2021, unless the commercial annual catch limit is met or projected to be met before this date.
- If the commercial sector needs to close before 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2021, NOAA Fisheries will announce it in the Federal Register and publish another Fishery Bulletin
WHY THESE LIMITED OPENINGS ARE OCCURRING:
- The limited openings are based on the final rule for Amendment 43 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (83 FR 35428).
- The final rule specified recreational and commercial annual catch limits for red snapper beginning in 2018 and subsequent years.
DURING THE LIMITED OPEN SEASONS:
- The total annual catch limit will be 42,510 fish.
- The recreational annual catch limit will be 29,656 fish.
- The recreational bag limit will be one red snapper per person per day. This applies to private and charterboat/headboat vessels (the captain and crew on for-hire vessels may retain the recreational bag limit).
- The commercial annual catch limit will be 124,815 pounds whole weight (12,854 fish).
- The commercial trip limit will be 75 pounds gutted weight.
- There will be no minimum or maximum size limits for the recreational or commercial sectors.