Snowy Grouper Wreck MPA

Snowy Grouper Wreck Map
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Site Description:

  • Coordinates: Northwest corner at 33°25'N, 77°4.75'W; northeast corner at 33°34.75'N, 76°51.3'W; southwest corner at 33°15.75'N, 77°W; and the southeast corner at 33°25.5'N, 76°46.5'W.
  • Location: Approximately 55 nautical miles southeast of Southport, NC
  • Size: Approximately 15 X 10 nautical miles

The area, located east of Cape Fear, NC, ranges in depth from 492 ft to 984 ft. deep, with a shallower portion of the site ranging from 197 ft. to 328 ft. This MPA includes a wreck site known to have once held spawning aggregations of snowy grouper. Information from public hearings indicates that the snowy wreck is mostly fished by commercial snapper grouper fishermen out of Little River, SC and the ports of Carolina Beach and Southport, NC. This area is also heavily fished by fishermen who troll for tuna, marlin, dolphin, and wahoo during certain times of the year. After discovery of the wreck in 1990s, the area was quickly fished down. This MPA site may also contain smaller wrecks. Bottom fish known to frequent the area include snowy grouper speckled hind, gag, red porgy, red grouper, graysby and hogfish. The area contains substantial hard-bottom habitat and has the potential to protect a portion of deepwater snapper grouper species, as well as some mid-shelf species, from directed fishing pressure.