Recreational and Commercial Harvest of Lane Snapper in Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico Will Close on December 13, 2019
Recreational and commercial harvest of lane snapper in federal waters will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on December 13, 2019.
Recreational and commercial harvest will reopen at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on January 1, 2020.
WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:
The 2019 stock annual catch limit is 301,000 pounds. Updated landings data indicate that stock annual catch limit has been reached.
In 2018, the stock annual catch limit was exceeded.
In accordance with the regulations, if the stock annual catch limit is exceeded one year, then during the following fishing year, if the sum of commercial and recreational landings reaches or is projected to reach the stock annual catch limit, NOAA Fisheries must close the recreational and commercial sectors for the remainder of that fishing year.
As a result, recreational and commercial harvest for lane snapper will close in federal waters at 12:01 am (local time) on December 13, 2019, and will remain closed until 12:01 a.m. (local time) on January 1, 2020.
This closure is necessary to protect the lane snapper population.
DURING THE CLOSURE:
No recreational or commercial fisherman may fish for or keep lane snapper after 12:01 a.m. (local time) on December 13, 2019.
The closure applies in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a valid Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fish permit.
During the closure, the bag and possession limits for lane snapper in or from federal waters of the Gulf are zero.
Sale or purchase of any harvested lane snapper in or from federal waters is prohibited.
The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to trade in lane snapper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold before 12:01 a.m., (local time) December 13, 2019, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.