Lutjanus campechanus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Lutjanidae

Scientific Name: Lutjanus campechanus (Poey, 1860)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Red Snapper, Bream, Mexican Red Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Northern Red Snapper, Pensacola Red Snapper
French Pagre Fine, Sarde Rouge, Vivaneau Campèche, Vivanot Jolle-bleu
Spanish Acara Aya, Chillo, Huachinango del Golfo, Pargo Colorado, Pargo del Golfo, Pargo Guachinango, Pargo Real
Lutjanus campechianus Poey, 1860
Mesoprion campechanus Poey, 1860
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. and Fricke, R. (eds). 2015. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 1 October 2015. Available at: (Accessed: 1 October 2015).
Taxonomic Notes: Several papers provide genetic evidence that Lutjanus purpureus, Caribbean Red Snapper, can be considered a synonym of L. campechanus (Gomes et al. 2008, Gomes et al. 2012). All assessors and reviewers agreed that L. campechanus and L. purpureus should be treated according to the many functional differences between the North American and Brazil populations and their massive and distinct biological and management literatures.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2bd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-08-10
Assessor(s): Anderson, W., Claro, R., Cowan, J., Lindeman, K., Padovani-Ferreira, B. & Rocha, L.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A.
Contributor(s): Carpenter, K.E., Sedberry, G., Waugh, G. & Zapp-Sluis, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Elfes, C., Linardich, C. & Polidoro, B.
This species is widely distributed over hard bottom and sand habitats in the entire Gulf of Mexico and to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on the U.S. east coast. It is long-lived (to 57 years), reaches full reproductive maturity at about 10+ years of age, and generation length is estimated to be 22 years.

Its population is subjected to heavy exploitation by both recreational and commercial fisheries throughout this area. The population is considered to consist of three separate stocks: (1) the U.S. Atlantic; (2) the U.S. Gulf of Mexico; and (3) the Mexican Gulf of Mexico.

The majority of historic landings have come from the Gulf of Mexico. The Red Snapper is of high economic value and the majority (74-87%) of the Mexican catch is exported to the U.S. and other countries. Since 1945 (past three generation lengths), stock biomass in the U.S Atlantic declined by 95.8% and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico declined between 33-68%. Off Mexico, landings declined by 58% between 1980-2013 (with the peak occurring in 1993) and effort is assumed to have increased in some areas. Biomass on the Campeche Bank (an area of historically high abundance) declined by 49% between 1984-1999 and apparently has not recovered. Juvenile Red Snapper are susceptible to shrimp trawling in the Gulf of Mexico which has significantly reduced recruitment to the exploited phase. Bycatch reduction devices are now required in the U.S. shrimp fishery, but are not universally implemented in Mexican shrimp fisheries. The Red Snapper has the potential for rapid recovery. The U.S. Gulf commercial sector has been managed by an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program since 2007 and landings have not exceeded the IFQ. In the U.S., the recreational sector is managed with short fishing seasons, small bag limits, gear and size restrictions. The U.S. Atlantic stock has been under a moratorium since 2010, with only limited openings over the past two years. Due to these management measures, both U.S. stocks have shown evidence of rebuilding in recent years, and detailed data collection and stock assessment protocols are in place to closely monitor commercial and recreational fisheries. The Mexican stock was last assessed 15 years ago (2000), at which time exploitation rates exceeded those that produced maximum sustainable yield, suggesting that overfishing was occurring. Currently, the Mexican commercial fishery is regulated through permitting and gear restrictions; however, the efficacy of enforcement is unknown. Recent Mexican government reports urge the reduction of fishing effort in the fishery, but there is no formal management plan. Data have not been available from the Mexican fishery for three generation lengths (66 years). However, landings increased from 1980 (the first available year of data) to 1993. This increase in landings may represent an increase in effort and does not likely represent an increase in population size. The 1993 landings of 7,205 mt was the highest in the 33 year time series, but it is a conservative estimate of possible maximum landings potential based on the data from the past, when nominal fishing effort (rather than population abundance) likely constrained landings. However, we assumed that effort has remained stable or increased in Mexican waters since 1993, such that the 58% decline in landings is proportional to a similar declines in the population. Therefore, it is inferred that a population decline of at least 58% has occurred in the Mexican component of the fishery over the past three generation lengths. Given this, the average estimated population decline was at least 46% (average of 33% and 58%), and the threat of overfishing continues. Therefore, it is assessed as Vulnerable (VU A2bd). Additionally, we recommend that precautionary fishery management be adhered to and enforcement against illegal fishing activity is expanded in U.S. waters. Increases in the quantity of fishery and biological data for the Mexican component would greatly improve Red Snapper stock assessments and enforcement in Mexican waters.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed in the western Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina south along the U.S. and throughout the Gulf of Mexico except Cuba (Robins and Ray 1986, Anderson 2002). There are records of vagrants from Massachusetts, Cuba, and the Bahamas. Its depth range is approximately 10-190 m. Records from the Caribbean and South America are attributed to Lutjanus purpureus in past treatments of the L. campechanus and L. purpureus complex. Recent genetics papers suggest L. purpureus, Caribbean Red Snapper, is a synonym of L. campechanus (Gomes et al. 2008, Gomes et al. 2012). Lutjanus campechanus and L. purpureus are here treated separately based on several factors, including many functional differences between the North American and Brazil populations and their distinct literatures on biology and management.  

Countries occurrence:
Mexico; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):190
Upper depth limit (metres):10
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:U.S. Atlantic stock
The U.S. Atlantic stock component has been estimated to have about one-third the biomass of the Gulf of Mexico stock component (G. Waugh pers. comm. 2015). From 1955-2010, the total stock biomass declined by 96% in the U.S. (SEDAR 24 2010). This period does not exactly span three generation lengths; however, population declines likely exceed 96% for this whole period. Commercial Red Snapper landings increased from 1950 to the late 1960s (North Carolina to eastern Florida), peaking at 473 mt in 1968 (Manooch et al. 1998, National Marine Fisheries Service pers. comm.). Between 1975-1998, annual landings declined from 327 mt to 40 mt. Eastern Florida landings dominated the catches through the mid 1970s, after which a precipitous decline occurred. Between 1990-2001, 58% of the total Red Snapper landings came from on Florida's Atlantic coast; with 6% in Georgia, 25% in South Carolina, and 11% in North Carolina. Recreational landings of red snapper peaked in 1985 at 605 mt. In 2014, recreational fishermen landed 477 mt, in spite of an extremely limited season. Manooch et al. (1998) suggested that the fishing mortality rate (F) should be reduced by 33% to 68%, depending on the natural mortality rate and desired SPR. These results were revisited by Potts and Brennan (2001) who suggested a broader range of reduction in F, from 30% to 80%. Prior to 2006, red snapper was listed as overfished in the South Atlantic (SEDAR 24 2010). As such, Amendment 4 to the South Atlantic Council’s Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan (regulations effective January 1992) implemented a rebuilding plan of 15 years beginning in 1991. Its status was changed to unknown because the previous pre-SFA determination of overfished was based on SPR (spawning potential ratio), which is inadequate because it is not biomass-based. Based on the results from SEDAR 15 (2008), it was reported as overfished and a new rebuilding plan was developed in Amendment 17A to the Snapper Grouper FMP. The 2010 stock assessment (SEDAR 24 2010) indicated that the U.S. southeast stock of red snapper is currently overfished and is experiencing overfishing. The estimated time series of F/FMSY suggests that overfishing has been occurring at least since the mid-1990's. The increase in stock status appears to have been assisted by the 1992 management regulations, and then perhaps reinforced by strong recruitment events. Base-run estimates of spawning biomass have remained below MSST throughout most of the time series. Current stock status was estimated in the base run to be SSB2009/MSST = 0.09. The estimated time series of F /FMSY suggests that overfishing has been occurring throughout most of the assessment period; F2007-2009/FMSY = 4.12. No new evidence is available that suggests the Atlantic and Gulf should be managed as a single stock, and no new evidence of regional separation within the Atlantic is available. An updated stock assessment for the south Atlantic region (anticipated SEDAR 41) is scheduled to be completed in November and peer-reviewed in 2016. Preliminary analyses of fishery independent survey data indicate a large increase in CPUE from 2010 onwards, due in part to the fishery closure initiated in 2010 for the southeast U.S.; the stock is showing strong evidence for rebuilding over recent years (G. Waugh pers. comm. 2015).

U.S. Gulf of Mexico stock
The U.S. Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery, which is targeted by commercial, for-hire, and recreational fishermen, is currently classified as overfished. The stock itself is divided into eastern and western Gulf components based on area-specific life history characteristics, catch statistics, and survey indices. The recovery of the population in the US Gulf is largely dependent upon the northwestern Gulf stock, which has long been considered to be the historical center of red snapper abundance (SEDAR 31 2013)In the eastern and western Gulf, estimates of spawning stock biomass have declined about 80-90% since the 1940s (although the majority of the population is in the western Gulf). Spawning stock biomass has been relatively stable at very low levels since the mid-1980's. According to the most recent stock assessment (SEDAR 31 2013), predicted total biomass declines ranged between 33-68% over the years 1945-2011. Total biomass and spawning biomass steadily declined from the late 1880s through the early 1900s, and was stable up to the 1940s (SEDAR 31 2013). The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council implemented a Reef fish Fishery Management Plan in 1984 to rebuild declining reef fish stocks, including Red Snapper. Evidence of a decline in the adult population was documented as early as the late 1980s, during which the fishery was primarily supported by age-1 to age-3 fish. When the first Red Snapper stock assessment was conducted (Goodyear 1988), the stock was determined to be so overfished that reductions in fishing mortality of 60-70% would be required to rebuild the stock. The effective number of spawners in the eastern and western populations are estimated to have been reduced in 2003 to 39% and 50%, respectively. The effective spawner levels associated with the SMSY{current-shrimp} benchmark equates to 12.9% and 5.2% of unfished levels in the east and west, respectively (SEDAR 7 2005). Recreational landings from the US Gulf of Mexico have declined by 77% over 31 years; from 2.61 million individuals in 1981 to 0.59 million in 2012 (NMFS pers. comm. 2014). The number of estimated individuals released alive annually has increased from 55,153 in 1981 to 1.42 million individuals in 2012 (NMFS pers. comm. 2014); but many individuals suffer mortality from barotrauma.

The predicted mean age was 3.5 years in the year 1872 and since fishing began, declined to between 0.5-0.9 in 2004 (SEDAR 31 2013). The annual index of abundance in the northern Gulf from Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP) ranged from near 0 to about 4.5 between 1982 and 2011, with no clear increasing or decreasing trends through the time series. There was a peak between 1989-1992, followed by a 14 year period of low abundances; since 2006, the index of abundance has fluctuated almost yearly (Pollack et al. 2013, see Figure 14 for data). This could be indicative of a substantial decline in the population prior to the initiation of the SEAMAP sampling program. A bioeconomic model intended to evaluate the different recreational management strategies found that the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico was not overfished or experiencing overfishing. This model incorporated density dependence and utilized a higher juvenile natural mortality rate, which likely caused the divergence between this model and previous stock assessment models. Although the authors did not suggest that this model replace the stock assessment, the results suggest that the red snapper fishery is underfished and the current management strategies are inefficient (Griffin and Woodward 2011).

In 2008, the Gulf of Mexico stock was evaluated as overfished and undergoing overfishing and in 2013, it was declared rebuilt (SEDAR 31 2013). Although populations in the U.S. no longer appear to be declining, annual catch limits in U.S. Gulf waters have been raised to 4,990 mt in response to strong year classes produced in 2004 and 2006 that occur on average every 5–7 years. Management has responded to increases in biomass by raising red snapper catch limits, only to have to reduce catches two to three years later to comply with the rebuilding schedule for this species. For example, after the strong 1989 year-class, catches were increased to 9.1 mt, only to be reduced because it became apparent the sustained catches were too high to meet management objectives. Similar histories occurred after strong year classes in 1995, and 1999-2000 and now in 2013 in response to the 2004 and 2006 year-classes. It is likely that landings of 11 mp going forward are unsustainable. There was some evidence that productivity of the stock was increasing in the early 2000s, but this trend appears to have ceased in recent years. In addition, the most recent benchmark stock assessment assumes that the S-R relationship has a very high estimate of steepness (0.99), inferring that recruitment may be almost independent of stock size. The SSR_Steepness factor is 0.94 for this species, which indicates the potential for a rapid recovery under the right conditions and that recruitment may be independent from stock size. Projections indicate that red snapper stock can rebuild within 31 years which is the longest recommended period by the NOAA Fisheries NSGs. The most recent stock assessment for the Gulf of Mexico is SEDAR 31 (2013). Though management has been more stringent for the Atlantic population than the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, biomass appears to be increasing at the same rate for both populations in recent years. Up to 20% of its historical biomass has been recovered within the past 20 years (equal to most recent generation length). 

Furthermore, Red Snapper in the U.S. Gulf have a selectivity function that is dome shaped. Large, old, adult red snapper (highly fecund) have less affinity for structured habitat and move off higher relief natural and artificial reefs after they are about 10 years old. Most of these fish move onto either very low relief shell-rubble reefs or muddy/sandy bottoms with no relief, where they form small groups. Prior to 1990, there was a longline fishery for these large red snapper. Since 1990, longlines have been prohibited inside of 91 m, making these fish less vulnerable to exploitation. This has important consequences concerning stock status now because the time period (1980s to early 1990s) when the Gulf red snapper stock was at its lowest biomass (~20 years ago) was the time when most of today's most fecund spawners should have been produced, but were not, leaving a very truncated age distribution. There has been some rebuilding in the number of larger spawners, but high catches since the early 1990s appear to be limiting escapement to older age classes. As such, this species may rapidly recover much more under the right management (i.e., constant F) and governance conditions (J. Cowan pers. comm. 2014). 

The overfished status of the Red Snapper fishery is the result of not only an excessive amount of effort in the directed fishery, but also, a high level of bycatch mortality of juveniles by shrimp trawling. Without some reduction in bycatch, stock assessments projected that the stock cannot rebuild to BMSY even if no harvest was allowed in the directed fishery (SEDAR 31 2013). Therefore, large reductions in bycatch mortality from the shrimp fishery need to be achieved either through technological means such as bycatch reduction devices, or through a reduction in effort by the shrimp fishery. Currently, BRDs are estimated to achieve about a 40 percent reduction in red snapper bycatch and are required by law. The Gulf shrimp fishery was one of the most economically important fisheries in the United States, but effort has significantly declined since 2002 and it is now not considered to be a major threat to the stock's ability to rebuild (SEDAR 31 2013). 

This is one of the most important Mexican fishery resources in the Gulf of Mexico, with a historical centre of abundance on the Campeche Bank (Gonzalez-De La Rosa and Re-Regis 2001). Snappers are targeted by commercial and artisanal longline and hand line fisheries. Lutjanus campechanus is considered part of a multi-species fishery off Mexico, but represents 90% of the overall catch. The majority (74-87%) of red snapper landings are sold to international markets, while smaller species are sold domestically. Between the 1950s to 1970s (prior to the establishment of EEZ boundaries), U.S. and Cuban fishing fleets also exploited red snapper on the Campeche Bank (J. Ault pers. comm. 2015). In 2012, at least 16 Cuban vessels held permits to fish for snapper in Mexican waters (SAGARPA 2012). 

Based on declining catch trends off Yucatan, Campeche and Veracruz, the fishery has deteriorated significantly. Landings in Mexico have declined by 58% over the past 20 years, from 7,205 t in 1993 to 3,021 t in 2013 (SAGARPA annual landings reports 1980-2013). Effort is assumed to have been constant and possibly increased in some areas. In addition, biomass on the Campeche Bank declined by 49% between 1984-1999 (Instituto Nacional de la Pesca 2000 via C. Monroy and T. Brule pers. comm. 2015) and has not recoveredThe estimated initial biomass (1984) was 33,740 t and in 1999 it was 17,150 t. There was an 80% decline in landings off Yucatan on the Campeche Bank between 1990-2013; the largest proportion (on average 27%) of the total landings are attributed to Yucatan State through the time series. There was also a 77% decline off Veracruz between 1991-2013 and a 71% decline off Campeche between 1993-2013. Landings off Tamaulipas and Quintana Roo appear to have remained stable. Effort has been increasing off Tabasco since at least 1990 and has been the leading producer of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico since 2002, but has not and likely will not reach the level of catch that Yucatan State had prior to the early 1990s. The last evaluation of the Mexican stock was conducted 15 years ago (Instituto Nacional de la Pesca 2000) and this report concluded that the Campeche Bank stock was exploited slightly above its maximum sustainable yield and that a continuance of fishing at these levels would cause a decline in biomass. 

As catch of L. campechanus has been declining, exploitation of other snappers such as L. synagris and O. chrysurus has been increasing (SAGARPA 2012). In addition, Mexican fishers from the state of Tamaulipas poached at least 692 mt of red snapper from U.S. waters off Texas in 2013-2014. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that they detected about 15% of these vessels that are fishing within the U.S. EEZ, which may indicate that they are taking more than is currently known (U.S. Coast Guard pers. comm. via GMFMC meeting presentation 2015). Juveniles frequently occur in large amounts as bycatch in the Mexican shrimp trawl fisheries; bycatch reduction devices are not consistently utilized in this region, but are encouraged (SAGARPA 2012).

Population connectivity
The pelagic larval duration for Lujanus campechanus is approximately 31 days (Rooker et al. 2004). Based on a coupled bio-physical model of the Gulf of Mexico, larvae released on Campeche Bank are primarily retained on the bank. However, a small fraction of the released larvae were able to cross the deep basin to the southern portion of Florida (0.33%) or went through the Straits of Florida (1.6%) within 18-21 days (Johnston et al. 2013). Given the trajectory of the Loop Current, spawning aggregations in the northern Caribbean Sea might contribute larvae to the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Otolith chemical signatures suggest that there is little mixing between the populations in US and Mexican waters and that the larger red snapper population in the northwestern Gulf may be serving as a source region of recruits for the north central region (Patterson et al. 2012). It is likely that the populations east and west of the Mississippi are metapopulations. Connectivity between populations in the northern Gulf and Campeche Banks is not yet confirmed, but is suspected to be low.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Adults of this species are found over natural and artificial hard bottoms. Juveniles inhabit shallow waters, including estuaries and are common over sandy or muddy bottoms (Castro-Aguirre et al. 1999). It occurs in depths ranging from a few meters as juveniles, to over 600 m as adults (Camber 1955, Bradley and Bryan 1975). Telemetry studies off Alabama found high site fidelity rates (72% yr-1) and long residence times (20-1099 days) on natural and artificial habitats (Topping and Szedlmayer 2011a,b); manual tracking over 24 hours in similar locations suggested that individuals remain close to artificial reef structures, with about 75% of all fish locations with 30 m of reef sites (Topping and Szedlmayer 2011b). Individuals collected from standing platforms were significantly younger, but larger, than the red snapper from the shelf edge banks (Cowan et al. 2012). Red Snapper feed mainly on fishes, shrimps, crabs, worms, cephalopods, and some planktonic items including urochordates and gastropods (Szedlemayr and Lee 2004).
The maximum size reported is 100 cm total length (TL) (Allen 1985, Robins and Ray 1986) and 22.8 kg (Allen 1985). By age five, 100% of females are mature and 50% mature by age 1.4 years; 100% of males mature by age four (SEDAR 31 2013), but it does not reach full reproductive potential until ages 10-12+. The maximum reported age in the Gulf of Mexico is 57 years. The maximum observed age in the US South Atlantic is 54 years. Field surveys suggest that older fish spawn more frequently and have a longer spawning season (Fitzhugh et al. 2012, Kulaw 2012, Lowerre-Barbieri et al. 2012). There was a positive correlation between the number of spawning events per season with age (Kulaw 2012). The increased annual fecundity of older females would likely increase the generation length. Calculated batch at age and proportion mature at age can be found in Fitzhugh et al. (2012). The average age of reproducing adults being caught in the commercial fishery is 5-7 years, and individuals over 10 years of age are rarely caught (SEDAR 31 2013).

This gonochoristic species reaches maturity at 20.8-30.9 cm TL (Grimes 1987, Patterson et al. 2001, Woods 2003). Along the Southeastern United States, White and Palmer (2004) found that the smallest mature male was 20 cm TL, and the largest immature male was 37.8 cm TL; 50% of males are mature at 22.3 cm TL, while 50% of females are mature at 37.8 cm TL. Spawning season varies with location, but in most cases occurs nearly year round (Grimes 1987). White and Palmer (2004) reported that the spawning season off the southeastern United States extends from May to October, peaking in July through September. On Campeche Bank, it spawns between April-October (Gonzalez-De La Rosa and Re-Regis 2001).

This assessment uses a generation length of 22 years based on data presented in SEDAR 24 (2010).
Generation Length (years):22

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This is very important species in both commercial and recreational fisheries in U.S. and Mexican waters. It is primarily harvested with hook and line gear. Commercial fishermen typically attach multiple hooks to a weighted line. Off Mexico, it is commonly fished using the “reinales” gear with number and hook size varying for each state. Veracruz and Tamaulipas also use the "cala huachinanguera" and the "Rosary" method. The Mexican snapper fishery includes multiple species, however, L. campechanus comprises 90% of the landings. It is highly valuable in both domestic and international markets; most Mexican Red Snapper catch is exported for sale in international markets, while smaller snapper species are sold domestically (SAGARPA 2012).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has been historically heavily exploited in U.S. waters, but is now under a government-mandated management plans in both the US Gulf and Atlantic jurisdictions to end overfishing, including a five year fishing moratorium in the US Atlantic. It is also highly valued in Mexican waters, but we could not identify formal management planning or stock assessment documents, though overfishing is assumed to be occurring. Bycatch of juvenile Red Snapper in Gulf shrimp trawl fisheries may have contributed to population declines of the stock. Shrimp fishery bycatch in U.S. waters has declined (SEDAR 31 2013); however, substantial fishery bycatch remains in Mexican waters (SAGARPA 2012) and bycatch reductions devices are not universally implemented.

There is some concern that the explosive decommissioning of oil platforms poses a significant risk of mortality to surrounding fishes. It is prone to high release mortality, because it inhabits relatively deep water and possesses a physoclistus gas bladder (Campbell et al. 2012). The recent implementation of an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) system for L. campechanus may be causing increased release rates in the Gulf of Mexico (Cullis-Suzuki et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: U.S. Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council implemented a Reef fish Fishery Management Plan in 1984 to rebuild declining reef fish stocks, including red snapper. Gulf Red Snapper is under a rebuilding program that aims to restore the stock by 2032. Recent population assessments indicate an increase under recent fishery regulations.

The recreational fishery for red snapper in the Gulf is open during a limited period of time per year, and catches are monitored so as not to exceed a yearly quota. Recreational anglers are permitted to keep only two red snapper per person, per day, that measure a minimum of 16 total length. In addition, anglers must have in possession a venting tool and dehooking device when fishing for Gulf reef fish. The use of non-stainless steel circle hooks is also required for fishermen using natural baits. Commercial fishing regulations include a 13-inch minimum size limit, an annual quota of 2.55 million pounds, gear restrictions, closed areas, and an IFQ program. The IFQ program allocates individual shares of the commercial quota to fishermen. Fishermen may harvest their quotas whenever they choose to do so and must report their harvest. The 2012 Regulatory Amendment to Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper eliminated the October-December closed recreational fishing season, increased the commercial and recreational quotas, and maintained the individual fishing quota program for the commercial sector (SEDAR 31 2013). Although a variety of minimum size regulations have been implemented to help rebuild the population, this may not be an efficient method because of the high discard mortality (Deleveaux 2012).

In the mid-1990s, bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) were used to limit the bycatch of juveniles in the shrimp trawl fishery (SEDAR 31 2013). While the BRDs did not appear to reduce juvenile bycatch to the expected degree, shrimp fishing effort has been reduced substantially since 2002, which may be improving survival probabilities for juveniles in some areas (Cowan et al. 2011, Porch 2013). 

Red Snapper caught in the Madison Swanson Marine Reserve (northeastern Gulf of Mexico) are significantly larger and older than those caught outside the reserve and there appears to be a spill-over effect to nearby locations (Koenig and Coleman 2013). 

U.S. Atlantic
To address overfishing of Red Snapper in the southeast U.S., the Council developed Amendment 17A to the Snapper-Grouper Management Plan. The final rule implemented the following in 2010: prohibit all harvest and possession of red snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic and in state waters for vessels holding federal snapper-grouper permits; require the use of circle hooks in the snapper-grouper fishery in federal waters north of 28 latitude; and require a program to monitor red snapper. As a result of these measures, the population has begun to increase since 2010. The Red Snapper is currently managed under a rebuilding plan whereby the South Atlantic Council established a process for a short season opening each year as long as total mortality (removals and discard mortality) is below the Acceptable Biological Catch (G. Waugh pers. comm. 2015). Red Snapper inhabit multiple MPAs under several designations established by the SAFMC in the southeast Atlantic coast.  

Off Mexico, access to the commercial snapper fishery is controlled through permits and gear type is restricted to increase intraspecific selectivity. Management recommendations call for reductions of at least 30% in fishing mortality off the states of Yucatan, Campeche and Veracruz and to reduce the sale of fishing licenses off Tampico, Quintana Roo and Tabasco (SAGARPA 2012). It is also recommended to introduce the use of appropriate bycatch reduction devices in shrimp trawls, issue permits specific to the resource, evaluate the effectiveness of these measures, and establish benchmarks for management plans (SAGARPA 2012). A stock assessment document on the Mexican population would be extremely valuable for comparison to the SEDAR documents and other research from the northern Gulf of Mexico and US Atlantic coast.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Citation: Anderson, W., Claro, R., Cowan, J., Lindeman, K., Padovani-Ferreira, B. & Rocha, L.A. 2015. Lutjanus campechanus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T194365A115334224. . Downloaded on 18 January 2018.
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