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Seasonal Prohibition on Fishing (Commercial and Recreational) for or Possession of Blackfin, Vermilion, Black, or Silk Snapper in U.S. Caribbean Federal Waters

September 25, 2023

FB23-068: Caribbean Fishery Bulletin. For more information, contact: Sarah Stephenson, 727-824-5305, sarah.stephenson@noaa.gov

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What Is Happening and When:

NOAA Fisheries reminds fishermen and the public of the annually recurring seasonal prohibition on fishing for or possession of blackfin, vermilion, black, or silk snapper in U.S. Caribbean federal waters.

  • This closure begins at 12:01 a.m., local time, on October 1, 2023, and extends through 11:59 p.m., local time, December 31, 2023.
  • The prohibition on possession does not apply to blackfin, vermilion, black, or silk snapper harvested and landed ashore prior to the closure.

Federal waters in the U.S. Caribbean consist of those waters extending from the three-nautical mile seaward boundary of the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the nine-nautical mile seaward boundary of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, out to 200 nautical miles offshore.


Why This Closure Is Happening:

This seasonal closure protects blackfin, vermilion, black, and silk snapper when they are spawning (reproducing) and therefore more vulnerable to fishing pressure.

Sign Up For Text Message Alerts - Find Out About Immediate Openings and Closures

NOAA's Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery-related alerts via text message (SMS).  Standard message & data rates may apply.  You may opt-out at any time.

Text alerts you may receive include:

  • Immediate fishery openings and closures
  • Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly


Sign up for one or more of the following groups:

  • Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
  • Caribbean Fisheries-Related Alerts
    • Text CARIBFISH to 888777


Quick Glance Contact List for the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office

Permits Mailbox:  The Permits Office in St. Petersburg, Florida now has a Permits mailbox in the front lobby (263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701).  You can now drop off original permits for permit transfers.  Envelopes with information labels will be provided so that your documents can be attached to the correct application.  The mailbox will be checked daily.  For more information, contact the Permits Office at 877-376-4877.


Other contacts:

Media:  Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750

NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Recreational Fishing Coordinator:  Sean Meehan, 727-385-5202


Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on September 25, 2023