Commercial red snapper fishery now closed

Published 5:15 pm Sunday, August 27, 2023

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NOAA Fisheries and North Carolina Marine Fisheries both announced the commercial harvest of red snapper in federal and state waters of the South Atlantic closed at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 18, 2023. During the commercial closure, all sale or purchase of red snapper is prohibited.

“All harvest or possession of red snapper in or from South Atlantic federal waters is now prohibited, as the recreational fishing season is also closed for 2023, states NOAA’s Fisheries Bulletin FB23-053.

The North Carolina Proclamation FF 23-053 states “It is unlawful to possess red snapper taken from waters under the jurisdiction of North Carolina or the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Unless specified otherwise, the fishery will re-open July 8, 2024.”

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The 2023 commercial catch limit is 124,815 pounds whole weight. Commercial landings are projected to reach the commercial catch limit by August 18, 2023. According to the accountability measure, harvest must close to prevent the commercial catch limit from being exceeded.

The closure applies in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper, regardless of where such fish are harvested or possessed, i.e., in state or federal waters.

Unless specified otherwise, the 2024 commercial fishing season for red snapper in the South Atlantic will begin on the second Monday in July, July 8, 2024. The commercial catch limit remains at 124,815 pounds whole weight.