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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - FB12-061 Red Snapper Season

Marine Fisheries

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Contact: Rick DeVictor
Phone: 727-824-5305
Release: Immediate
Date: Aug. 27, 2012

September Opening of Commercial and Recreational
Red Snapper Season in the South Atlantic Federal Waters

NOAA Fisheries announces the opening of the 2012 commercial and recreational red snapper fishing season in South Atlantic federal waters. Based on a recommendation by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (South Atlantic Council), the commercial red snapper season opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on Sept. 17, 2012, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on Sept. 24, 2012. During the open commercial season, the daily trip limit is 50 pounds gutted weight and there is no minimum size limit for red snapper.

The recreational fishing season will open for two consecutive weekends made up of Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The recreational red snapper season opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, onSept. 14, 2012, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on Sept. 17, 2012; the season then reopens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on Sept. 21, 2012, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on Sept. 24, 2012. During the open recreational season, the bag limit is one fish per person per day and there is no minimum size limit for red snapper.

The intent of this action is to provide fishermen the opportunity to harvest the red snapper 2012 annual catch limit and enhance the social and economic benefits to the fishery. The commercial and recreational annual catch limits for 2012 are 20,818 pounds gutted weight and 9,399 fish, respectively. The sector annual catch limits are based upon allocations previously decided by the South Atlantic Council.

NOAA Fisheries may change the commercial and recreational season dates if severe weather conditions exist. If severe weather conditions exist, NOAA Fisheries will announce via NOAA Weather Radio and a Fishery Bulletin any change in the red snapper fishing seasons. Additionally, NOAA Fisheries will monitor the commercial landings and may re-open the commercial fishing season in 2012 if landings are less than the annual catch limits.

After the conclusion of the commercial Sept. 17-24, 2012, red snapper fishing season, red snapper may not be harvested or possessed in federal waters of the South Atlantic. After the conclusion of the recreational Sept. 14-17, 2012, and Sept. 21-24, 2012 fishing seasons, red snapper may not be harvested or possessed in federal waters of the South Atlantic.

Harvest and possession prohibitions also apply to state waters for vessels holding federal snapper-grouper permits.

This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding this rulemaking. Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the regulations published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

More information, including Frequently Asked Questions for the 2012 red snapper fishing seasons can be found online at:
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/SASnapperGrouperHomepage.htm 
To receive fishery bulletins via email using Constant Contact, please sign up at http://bit.ly/HQDUEU. You may also sign up for Constant Contact by visiting our website http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/ (sign-up option is located on the left side of the page).

FB12-061

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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