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Yellowtail Snapper Catch Limit Increased in South Atlantic

08 November 2012

US - NOAA Fisheries is issuing a temporary rule that will increase the commercial annual catch limit from 1,142,589 pounds whole weight to 1,596,510 pounds whole weight.

Increasing the commercial annual catch limit will reduce the probability of triggering an in-season closure of the commercial sector. The recreational sector annual catch limit is not affected by this temporary rule.

The state of Florida recently completed a new population assessment for yellowtail snapper in the southeast region, which indicates the stock is neither overfished (too few fish in the population) nor undergoing overfishing (fish being removed too quickly). This assessment indicates harvest can be increased without jeopardising the health of the population. Based on these results the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council requested this temporary rule, which would increase the commercial annual catch limit for yellowtail snapper in the South Atlantic.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is working to implement the new commercial and recreational annual catch limits for yellowtail snapper permanently through Regulatory Amendment 15 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic. Regulatory Amendment 15 should become effective sometime in 2013.

The new commercial annual catch limit will become effective on 7 November, 2012. The temporary rule is effective for 180 days. NOAA Fisheries has the option to extend the temporary rule for an additional 186 days if needed.

Comments on the temporary rule must be received no later than 7 December, 2012, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries. See the Addresses section for information on where and how to submit comments.

TheFishSite News Desk

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