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Blue Runner Fishery Closing in South Atlantic

07 December 2012

US - The commercial harvest of blue runner in federal waters of the South Atlantic from North Carolina to Key West, Florida, will be closed, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time), 10 December, 2012, through the remainder of the 2012 fishing year.

NOAA Fisheries has determined the 2012 commercial annual catch limit of 188,329 pounds, whole weight, will be reached by that date.

The operator of a vessel that has been issued a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper and is landing blue runner for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such blue runner prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, 10 December, 2012.

During the closure, all harvest and possession of blue runner in or from closed federal waters of the South Atlantic is subject to the applicable bag and possession limits, and the sale or purchase of blue runner taken from closed federal waters is prohibited. In addition, those bag and possession limits, and the prohibition on sale or purchase apply in state and federal waters of the South Atlantic for a vessel for which a valid federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued.

The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to sale or purchase of blue runner that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, 10 December, 2012, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

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