ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Commercial and recreational fishermen will be able to harvest red snapper this season, even if the season lasts less than four days.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service announced Oct. 13 that Regulatory Amendment 33 for the South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan will go into effect Friday, Nov. 13. The final rule allows the red-snapper fishing season to be less than four days in the federal south Atlantic region, which includes the waters between 3-200 miles offshore of North Carolina.
It removes the minimum season length requirement. Red snapper harvest, recreational and commercial, could be open for either commercial or recreational harvest for three days or less. The intent of the final rule is to improve access to the red snapper resource.
According to the NMFS, the existing FMP requires the commercial and/or recreational red snapper seasons to remain closed during a fishing year if the NMFS projects either the commercial or recreational catch limit will be met in three days or less. More information on Amendment 33 may be found online at the fisheries.noaa.gov/action/regulatory-amendment-33-red-snapper-fishing-seasons.
More information may also be requested by calling 727-824-5305, by fax at 727-824-5308 or by regular mail by writing to Frank Helies, NOAA Fisheries, Southeaste Regional Office, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.