Final Rule Revises Annual Catch Limits for South Atlantic Vermilion Snapper and Black Sea Bass

April 09, 2019

FB19-021: South Atlantic Fishery Bulletin; For more information, contact: Frank Helies, Sustainable Fisheries, 727-824-5305, frank.helies@noaa.gov

Black sea bass and vermilion snapper

Black Sea Bass and Vermilion Snapper

KEY MESSAGE:

NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule for vermilion snapper and black sea bass in the South Atlantic.   

  • Based on the results of recent population assessments, NOAA Fisheries determined that neither vermilion snapper nor black sea bass were overfished (fish population is below sustainable levels) or undergoing overfishing (rate of removal is too high). 
  • This rule responds to the results of the latest assessments by increasing the annual catch limits for South Atlantic vermilion snapper and reducing the annual catch limits for South Atlantic black sea bass.
  • The annual catch limits are based on acceptable biological catch recommendations from the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee. 

 

WHEN RULE WILL TAKE EFFECT:

  • The rule will be effective on May 9, 2019.

 

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR VERMILION SNAPPER:

  • The final rule will increase the total and sector annual catch limits for vermilion snapper.  The latest population assessment shows the vermilion snapper stock can be sustainably harvested at higher catch limits.

 

New annual catch limits for vermilion snapper (in pounds whole weight) are as follows:

Year

Total ACL

Commercial ACL*

Recreational ACL

2019

1,579,000

1,073,720

505,280

2020

1,478,000

1,005,040

472,960

2021

1,408,000

957,440

450,560

2022

1,362,000

926,160

435,840

2023 until modified

1,336,000

908,480

427,520

* For the commercial sector, the fishing year is divided into two 6-month seasons (Season 1: Jan-June; Season 2: July-Dec) and the annual catch limit is equally divided between the seasons.

  • Using quota monitoring, NOAA Fisheries will determine if a trip limit reduction or harvest closure for commercial vermilion snapper season 1 is needed based on the increased annual catch limit that will be effective on May 9, 2019.
  •  

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR BLACK SEA BASS:

  • The final rule will decrease the total and sector annual catch limits for black sea bass.  The latest population assessment shows the black sea bass stock in the South Atlantic is less abundant than previously calculated.
  • New annual catch limits for black sea bass (in pounds whole weight) are as follows:

Year

Total ACL

Commercial ACL*

Recreational ACL ** (Fishing Year)

2019

760,000

326,800

433,200 (2019/2020)

2020

669,000

287,670

381,330 (2020/2021)

2021 until modified

643,000

276,490

366,510 (2021/2022)

* The fishing year for the black sea bass commercial sector is from January 1 through December 31.

** The fishing year for the black sea bass recreational sector is from April 1 through March 31.

 

FORMAL FEDERAL REGISTER NAME/NUMBER: 84 FR 14021, published April 9, 2019

 

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.


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Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on April 09, 2019