A seasonal prohibition on the harvest of shallow water snapper-grouper species in federal waters of the South Atlantic is effective 12:01 a.m. January 1, 2013, through April 30, 2013, and applies to recreational and commercial harvest of shallow water grouper species. During this time, no gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, or yellowmouth grouper may be harvested, possessed, sold, or purchased. The closure also applies to shallow water grouper taken in South Atlantic state waters by any person on board a vessel holding a federal snapper-grouper permit, including a South Atlantic Charter/Headboat permit for Snapper-Grouper. Commercial and recreational harvest of shallow water grouper species will reopen at 12:01 a.m. on May 1, 2013.
This seasonal closure is part of a suite of management measures contained in Amendment 16 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, which became effective on July 29, 2009.
The shallow water grouper closure in the South Atlantic complies with regulations implementing the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region and is necessary to protect snapper-grouper species during their spawning season.
For more information on openings and closures of other species please refer to the Southeast Regional Office’s Web page at:
Fishermen should contact their state agencies to inquire about compatible regulations in state waters.
This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the existing regulations. Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the regulations as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.
_–– Source: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council _