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Atlantic Vermilion Snapper Catch Limit May Increase; Comment Period Open Through Mar. 4

Vermilion snapper are popular reef catches along the Atlantic coast, but the recreational season is closed November through March.

SAFMC Accepting Public Comment on Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 18

Amendment addresses management measures for vermilion snapper and red porgy

 The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is soliciting public comment on proposed management measures for vermilion snapper and red porgy. Stock assessment updates were recently completed for both species. The updates show that overfishing for vermilion snapper ended, allowing for an increase in the Annual Catch Limit (ACL). The increase may allow for a removal of the current recreational seasonal closure (November 1 through March 31) as well as other measures for both commercial and recreational fisheries. While red porgy is not undergoing overfishing, the assessment update concluded the stock is still overfished and reductions in the ACL are necessary.

Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 18 includes management actions for both vermilion snapper and red porgy, based on recommendations from the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee that include new catch levels for both species.  The Council is scheduled to approve the amendment for submission to the Secretary of Commerce during its March 4-8, 2013 meeting in St. Simons Island, GA.

The amendment includes the following five actions:

  • Revisions to the Annual Catch Limit (ACL) for vermilion snapper that could result in an increase in the ACL for both the commercial and recreational fishery.
  • Revisions to the ACL (including sector ACLs) for red porgy that could result in a decrease in the ACL for both the commercial and recreational fishery.
  • Modifications to the commercial trip limit for vermilion snapper to allow for the fishery to remain open longer.
  • Modifications of the commercial fishing seasons for vermilion snapper.
  • Removal of the current seasonal recreational closure for vermilion snapper.

 Comment Period Now Open

The public is encouraged to submit written comments to the Council through March 4, 2013. Written comments can be submitted via,

Public comment will also be accepted at the upcoming Council meeting to be held in St. Simons Island, GA on March 4-8, 2013. A public comment session will be held on Friday, March 8 starting at 8:45 a.m.

For additional information about Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 18 and the upcoming March Council meeting, please visit the Council website at www.safmc.net. Information specific to the amendment is posted in the Announcements section of the homepage under “Public Comment”.   

About Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.