Snowy grouper commercial fishery closed for a month

Published 2:56 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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NOAA Fisheries FB 24-036 announced the commercial harvest of snowy grouper in federal waters of the South Atlantic closed at 12:01 a.m. on June 4, 2024.

During the commercial closure, all sale or purchase of snowy grouper is prohibited, and harvest or possession of snowy grouper in or from federal waters is limited to the recreational bag and possession limits while the recreational sector is open. The commercial fishing season for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic will open again on July 1, 2024.

There are two commercial fishing seasons for snowy grouper. Each season is six months with its own catch limit.

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The 2024 January through June commercial catch limit is 74,322 pounds gutted weight. Commercial landings are projected to reach the January through June commercial catch limit on June 4, 2024. According to the accountability measure, commercial harvest must close to prevent the catch limit from being exceeded.

Any unused portion of the catch limit from the January through June season will be added to the catch limit for the July through December season, and the increased catch limit is used to project the closure for that season.

The closure applies in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a federal commercial permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper.

The prohibition on sale or purchase during a closure for snowy grouper does not apply to fish that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m. on June 4, 2024 and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

The 2024 July through December commercial fishing season for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic will open on July 1, 2024 with a catch limit of 31,852 pounds gutted weight.