South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 35

Amendment summary

The Council is soliciting input on ways to reduce the number of fish that die after being caught and released in the South Atlantic snapper grouper fishery.

The amendment would address this issue across the fishery and revise red snapper catch levels.

Purpose of the Amendment:

  • Respond to the latest stock assessment for red snapper (SEDAR 73). red snapper are overfished and overfishing is occurring, mainly due to the large number of red snapper that die as a result of being caught and released.
  • Dead releases are a major issue in the snapper grouper fishery as a whole and affect many species within the complex.
  • The amendment would consider management changes to reduce release mortality in the snapper grouper fishery that would lead to possible adjustment to the recommended Acceptable Biological Catch for red snapper. 

Key Events:  

  • June 2021: The Council received the results of SEDAR 73 and requested the SSC review the recommended ABC. 
  • September 2021: Reviewed the SSC’s recommendation and initiated amendment. 
  • December 2021: The Council reviewed the Snapper Grouper AP’s feedback and an information paper. Staff directed to investigate management changes to reduce dead discards in the snapper grouper fishery such that a possible adjustment to the Acceptable Biological Catch for Red Snapper can be considered. 
  • Winter 2022: Initial scoping conducted January 20-February 4. 
  • March 2022: the Council reviewed a list of potential management changes and requested additional input from the Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel.

Most recent amendment documents

  • Final approval
  • Implementation
  • Pre-scoping
  • Public hearing
  • Rule making
  • Scoping
  • Secretarial review

Public comments