NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries Service) announces the recreational fishery for red snapper in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will close effective 12:01 a.m. local time August 5, 2008, through December 31, 2008, the end of the current fishing year. The recreational fishery in federal waters will reopen on June 1, 2009, the beginning of the 2009 federal recreational fishing season. NOAA Fisheries Service has determined this action is necessary to prevent overfishing and to keep the recreational fishery from exceeding its quota during the 2008 fishing year.
Closure of the recreational red snapper fishery in federal waters complies with regulations implemented under the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Reef Fish FMP), and in accordance with requirements specified in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. NOAA Fisheries Service is required to close a fishery or fishery sector in federal waters when the quota is met or projected to be met.