Commercial harvest of red porgy and vermilion snapper in South Atlantic waters will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on December 2, 2013. The 2013 commercial catch limit for red porgy is 153,000 pounds whole weight. The 2013 catch limit for vermilion snapper is 613,278 pounds whole weight. Reports indicate that commercial landings for both species are rapidly approaching the 2013 catch limits.
The operator of a vessel with a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper that is landing red porgy or vermilion snapper for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such fish prior to 12:01 a.m. (local time), December 2, 2013. The prohibition on sale does not apply to sale or purchase of red porgy or vermilion snapper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m. (local time), December 2, 2013, and held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.
During the closure:
- Sale and purchase of red porgy and vermilion snapper are prohibited.
- The closure applies in both state and federal waters.
Commercial harvest or possession of red porgy is prohibited during January – April each year. Therefore, the commercial closure of red porgy will be effective until May 1, 2014. The commercial closure for vermilion snapper is effective until January 1, 2014.
During the commercial sector closure, all harvest and possession of red porgy and vermilion snapper in or from closed federal waters of the South Atlantic is subject to the applicable bag and possession limits. The sale or purchase of red porgy and vermilion snapper taken from closed federal waters is prohibited. The bag and possession limits and the prohibition on sale or purchase, apply in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a valid federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper. The vermilion snapper bag limit for captain and crew is zero.