May 15, 2014
NOAA Fisheries Press Release
The 2014 Gulf of Mexico red snapper recreational season in federal waters is 9 days, opening at 12:01 a.m., June 1, 2014, and closing at 12:01 a.m., on June 10, 2014. The red snapper bag limit is 2 fish with a 16-inch minimum total length size limit.
At its April 2014 meeting, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council requested an emergency rule to revise the recreational accountability measures for red snapper by applying a 20-percent buffer to the recreational quota, which results in a recreational annual catch target of 4.312 million pounds whole weight. This emergency rule will not affect the commercial harvest of red snapper in the reef fish fishery.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council's decision to request an emergency rule was made following the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Guindon v. Pritzker, (Mar. 26, 2014). After recalculating the season length based on the annual catch target and including the 2013 Marine Recreational Information Program data, NOAA Fisheries is setting a 9-day red snapper fishing season.
The purpose of this rulemaking is to better ensure red snapper recreational landings do not exceed the recreational quota established in the rebuilding plan, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Court's ruling.
The method for calculating the dates for the federal season for each state are available in the Environmental Assessment in Appendix B. Electronic copies of the documents are available.
Final Rule and Environmental Assessment: Federal eRulemaking Portal search "NOAA-NMFS-2014-0055" www.regulations.gov and NOAA Fisheries http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.
This summary is not a substitute for the actual regulations. We encourage you to read the full text of the regulations, available at
Karl Wickstrom noted, "This does not cover the commercial take. So we'll have the situation whereby an average Joe may not take one single red snapper while a commercial boat next to him may take thousands. Incredible. Shouldn't we send out an emergency protest?"