After several years of limited weekend fishing, the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council announced today that there will be no red snapper season in federal waters in 2015, because the total number of fish removed from the population in 2014 almost doubled the allowable harvest.
The SAFMC gave fishermen two 3-day weekends and a 2-day weekend in July 2014, with a one-fish daily creel limit and an allowable harvest catch of 106,000 fish. After evaluating landings and discard information, NOAA Fisheries determined that the total estimated number of fish taken out of the population was almost 206,000.
NOAA Fisheries will look at the fishery again next year to determine if there will be a season for red snapper in South Atlantic waters in 2016. The next assessment of the red snapper population is scheduled for 2016, and the allowable harvest may change as a result.
In 2013, fishermen were allowed to fish for red snapper on one 3-day weekend in August, with a one-fish daily creel limit.
In 2012 recreational fishermen had two 3-day weekends in September, with a one-fish daily creel limit.
For additional sources of information, including Frequently Asked Questions, details of the standardized process, and the report of 2014 estimates of red snapper total removals in the South Atlantic Region, please go here: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/2015/red_snapper/index.html