Commercial and Recreational Closure of Mid-water Snapper in Federal Waters
Commercial and recreational harvest of mid-water snapper in Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) federal waters will close at 12:01 am, local time, on September 18, 2021.
The mid-water snapper complex consists of blackfin snapper, queen snapper, silk snapper and wenchmen.
Commercial and recreational harvest will reopen January 1, 2022.
Why This Closure is Happening:
The 2021 mid-water snapper complex annual catch limit is 166,000 pounds whole weight.
Based on preliminary landings, the 2021 mid-water snapper recreational and commercial annual limit set by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has been met.
In accordance with the regulations, NOAA Fisheries must close harvest when the annual catch limit has been or is projected to be met following a year when the annual catch limit was exceeded. Landings exceeded the annual catch limit in 2020. This closure is needed to prevent overfishing of mid-water snapper (annual catch rate is too high).
During the Closure:
During the commercial and recreational closure, the bag and possession limits are zero for mid-water snapper in or from federal waters of the Gulf.
The prohibition on possession of Gulf mid-water snapper also applies in Gulf state waters for a vessel issued a valid federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish
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