Commercial Harvest of Vermilion Snapper Closing to Vessels Fishing in the South Atlantic Federal Waters on March 10, 2011

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The commercial harvest of vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic federal waters is closed, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) March 10, 2011, until 12:01 a.m. (local time) July 1, 2011. NOAA Fisheries Service has determined the 2011 January through June commercial quota of 315,523 pounds of vermilion snapper will have been reached by this date.

During the closure period, no person aboard a vessel with a commercial snapper-grouper permit may commercially fish for vermilion snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic. During the closure, all harvest or possession of vermilion snapper in or from South Atlantic federal waters is restricted to the bag and possession limits and the sale or purchase of such fish is prohibited.

In addition, for a person on board a vessel with a federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat snapper-grouper permit, these provisions of the closure for vermilion snapper would apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or federal waters.
Closure of the commercial fishery for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic complies with regulations implementing the Amendment 16 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region and is necessary to protect the snapper-grouper resource.

The operator of a vessel with vermilion snapper in excess of the bag or possession limit aboard must have landed such vermilion snapper prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, March 10, 2011, and all sale or purchase of vermilion snapper must occur prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, March 10, 2011. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to sale or purchase of vermilion snapper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, March 10, 2011, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

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This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the existing regulations. Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the regulations as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.

Southeast Fishery Bulletin, National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701