For the first time since 2014, anglers in the South Atlantic may soon have the opportunity to harvest red snapper. Following seven years of a closed or severely shortened season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries is currently considering a proposed rule that would allow for a limited 2018 red snapper season.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Amendment 43 would allow one red snapper per person, per day, to be harvested during the limited 2018 season. The season would be permit fishing only on weekends with impending season dates to be announced if the proposed rule is approved by NOAA Fisheries.
Various recent studies have shown that the snapper stock in the South Atlantic has increased in abundance with its highest total in 2017. Additionally, NOAA acknowledges that “the harvest prohibitions of red snapper since 2010 have resulted in adverse socioeconomic effects to fishermen and fishing communities such as loss of additional revenue and recreational opportunities, as well as indirect benefits to businesses that provide supplies for fishing trips. There is also a need for red snapper fishery dependent data. Federal and state personnel would collect information, including catch data and biological samples during the proposed open season in 2018, which would inform future population assessments for red snapper.”
Visit NOAA’s South Atlantic Fisheries Bulletin for further information and to submit comments in support of the proposed regulation and a red snapper season in the South Atlantic. Comments are due by June 18, 2018.
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