Rule to Allow For Abbreviated Red Snapper Season in the South Atlantic Published in Federal Register

On May 14, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries published a proposed rule to implement management measures described in Regulatory Amendment 33 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper-Grouper FMP). This amendment will allow for a snapper season to occur in the South Atlantic, even if the season may be just 3 days or less.

While NOAA Fisheries hasn’t officially announced their projections for a 2020 red snapper season in the South Atlantic, they indicated it will likely be around 3 days or less at the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in March. Currently, the Snapper-Grouper FMP prohibits seasons that will be less than 4 days. The red snapper population has been rebuilding in the region, and with the increased abundance of fish, combined with an increase in fishing pressure in recent years, it is estimated to take fewer and fewer days for the recreational sector to reach their harvestable quota. Final approval of this amendment will be necessary for there to be a red snapper season in the South Atlantic should NOAA fisheries set the season at 3 days or less.

Comments will be accepted through the Federal Register portal until June 15, 2020.

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