Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 33
(Modifications to Red Snapper Seasons)
During the March 2019 meeting, the Council discussed modifying the days of the week that are open to red snapper recreational harvest starting in 2020, should harvest be allowed, to maximize fishing opportunity in the event of bad weather. The Council was concerned that limiting the recreational season to consecutive “weekends” during the summer months could increase the chances of losing an entire weekend to fishing opportunities for red snapper because of poor weather conditions. The Council also expressed interest in having periodic review of how limited openings are working and providing the public an opportunity to provide feedback on the seasons. Additionally, the Council intends to explore changing the start dates for the commercial and recreational seasons to minimize fishing mortality when red snapper are spawning, and removing the minimum number of days requirement to allow harvest.
Public Hearings for the amendment were held in August 2019. The Council reviewed public comment from those hearings at their September 2019 Meeting. After some discussion, the Council removed two actions (modifying the season start for the recreational sector and the days of the week for the recreational sector), and selected preferred alternatives for the remaining two actions: 1)Remove the minimum number of days for the South Atlantic red snapper seasons and 2) Modify the start date for the red snapper commercial season.
In December 2019, the Council chose to not change the start date for the commercial red snapper season, however they did take action to remove the minimum number of days. The Council approved the amendment for formal secretarial review.
GET INVOLVED –
- Pre-Scoping: March 2019
- Scoping: June 2019
- Public Hearing: August 2019
- Final Approval: December 2019
- Secretarial Review: January 2020
- Rule Making: May 2020