The Council was notified in July 2008 red snapper are overfished and undergoing overfishing. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has submitted a request to prohibit harvest and possession of red snapper through interim measures while permanent measures to end overfishing and rebuild the stock are developed through Amendment 17A to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. NOAA Fisheries Service has completed an environmental assessment: “Interim Measures to Reduce Overfishing of Red Snapper in the South Atlantic”. The final interim rule published in the Federal Register on December 4, 2009 and becomes effective on January 4, 2010 (74 FR 63673). The interim rule will be effective until June 2, 2010 and could be extended for another 186-day period.
Red Snapper Interim Rule Actions
The interim rule would establish a 180 day closure of the commercial and recreational red snapper fisheries in the South Atlantic.
During the closure, the harvest, possession, and/or sale of red snapper in the South Atlantic region would be prohibited for both recreational and commercial fishermen.
The provisions of the interim rule with respect to federal permit holders, would apply regardless of where the fish are harvested (i.e. state or federal waters).