Frustrated anglers might have a three-day season or no season at all in 2020
Washington, D.C. – March 6, 2020 – At the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting this week, NOAA Fisheries announced recreational anglers from North Carolina to Florida could have a three-day 2020 red snapper season but may end up with no season at all. Since 2010, the recreational sector has been allowed to harvest red snapper in South Atlantic federal waters a cumulative total of 37 days despite increasing abundance of fish.
Under the current regulatory framework, a recreational South Atlantic red snapper season of three or fewer days is prohibited. Changing that framework requires a rulemaking period which is in its early stages.
Over the last decade, anglers have been baffled by NOAA Fisheries’ decision to radically limit public access to red snapper despite the plentiful number of fish they are encountering on the water. In 2018, the South Atlantic red snapper recreational sector Annual Catch Limit (ACL) was set at 29,656 fish. In the same year, NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) estimated that 3,174,288 red snapper were released alive by Florida anglers in the South Atlantic alone. Using the accepted 28.5% recreational discard mortality rate, the number of released red snapper that did not survive is an estimated 904,672 fish.
Read the complete article from Center for Sportsfishing Policy–>HERE