Temporary Rule To Establish Management Measures for the Limited Harvest and Possession of South Atlantic Red Snapper in 2017
NMFS issues this final temporary rule to establish management measures to allow for the limited harvest and possession of red snapper in or from the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in 2017 by changing the process used to set the annual catch limit (ACL), as requested by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This rule also announces the opening and closing dates of the 2017 recreational fishing season and the opening date for the 2017 commercial fishing season for red snapper. The intended effect of this temporary rule is to reduce, to the extent practicable, existing adverse socio-economic impacts to fishermen and fishing communities that utilize the red snapper portion of the snapper-grouper fishery, without allowing overfishing or preventing the stock from rebuilding. Additionally, limited commercial and recreational harvest of red snapper in 2017 will provide an opportunity to collect fishery- dependent data that will be useful for future red snapper stock assessments and management decisions.