South Atlantic Fishing Seasonal Closures

Commercial and recreational seasonal closures and current status of federally managed South Atlantic species.
Species not listed do not currently have seasonal closures or quotas.

NOAA Sustainable Fisheries Division South Atlantic Branch, together with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, manages fisheries in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Federal waters begin where state waters end and extend 200 miles into the South Atlantic. 

This summary is intended to provide appropriate information to fishers about regulations and the sustainable use of marine fishery resources in the South Atlantic. This summary is for general information purposes. Fishery regulations are subject to changes. Please visit the South Atlantic Council site for regulations by species. For the most current federal regulations, please visit:  Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 622 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic

Fish Species Illustration

Species or Species Group

Commercial Seasonal Closure

Recreational Seasonal Closure

640x427-black-grouper.png

 

Black Grouper January 1 - April 30 January 1 - April 30
640x427-black-sea-bass.png

 

Black Sea Bass Pots (a) November 1 - April 30 (a) None
blueline_tilefish.png Blueline Tilefish None
  • January 1 - April 30
  • September 1 - December 31
gag_grouper.png

 

Gag January 1 - April 30 January 1 - April 30
640x427-greater-amberjack.png

 

Greater Amberjack  (b) April 1 - April 30 None
fish-hogfish-image.jpg

 

Hogfish (FLK-EFL) None
  • January 1 - April 30
  • November 1 - December 31
red_grouper.png

 

Red Grouper January 1 - April 30 January 1 - April 30
fish-red-porgy-image.jpg

 

Red Porgy  (c) January 1 - April 30 None
red_snapper.png

 

Red Snapper (d) See (d) Below See (d) Below
fish-scamp-image.jpg

 

Scamp January 1 - April 30 January 1 - April 30
  • Red hind
  • Rock hind
  • Coney
  • Graysby
  • Yellowfin grouper
  • Yellowmouth grouper
Shallow Water Grouper  January 1 - April 30 January 1 - April 30
fish-snowy-grouper-image.jpg

 

Snowy Grouper None
  • January 1 - April 30
  • September 1 - December 31
wreckfish.png

 

Wreckfish January 15 - April 15
  • January 1 - June 30
  • September 1 - December 31

 

(a) During November 1 - April 30 of each year the use of black sea bass pots is prohibited in certain closed areas. Please see the regulations for more details, and maps of closed areas.

(b) During April of each year, harvest or possession of greater amberjack is limited to 1 per person per day or 1 per person per trip, whichever is more restrictive.  However, such greater amberjack are subject to the prohibition on sale or purchase harvested from the South Atlantic EEZ or, if harvested by a vessel for which a valid Federal commercial permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued, harvested from the South Atlantic, i.e., in state or Federal waters. Please see the regulations for more details.

(c) During January 1-April 30 of each year, harvest or possession of red porgy is limited to 3 per person per day or 3 per person per trip, whichever is more restrictive.  No person may sell or purchase a red porgy harvested from the South Atlantic EEZ or, if harvested by a vessel for which a valid Federal commercial permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued, harvested from the South Atlantic, i.e., in state or Federal waters. Please see the regulations for more details.

(d)  Red snapper seasons:

The recreational sector will open for harvest on the following days:

  • July 12, 13, and 14, 2019 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) – The recreational season opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 12, 2019, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 15, 2019. 
  • July 19 and 20, 2019 (Friday and Saturday) – The recreational season opens again at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 19, 2019, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 21, 2019. 

The commercial sector will open for harvest:

  • At 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 8, 2019, and will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2020, unless the commercial annual catch limit is met or projected to be met before this date. 
  • If the commercial sector needs to close before 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2020, NOAA Fisheries will announce it in the Federal Register and publish another Fishery Bulletin.

Please see FB19-011 for more information.

 

This page provides only a summary of the information regarding the existing regulations. Any discrepancies between this information and the regulations as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register

 

 

Please Note: This summary is intended to provide appropriate information to fishers about regulations and the sustainable use of marine fishery resources in the South Atlantic. This summary is for general information purposes. Fishery Regulations are subject to changes. For more information on fishery regulations consult the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 622 or the NOAA Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office Fishery Regulation website.

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on April 09, 2019