Fall Red Snapper Season

Written by on August 13, 2011 in Regulation News - No comments

NOAA Fisheries Service published an emergency rule in the  Federal Register  on August  12, 2011, effective September 12, 2011.  The emergency rule increases the recreational red snapper quota by 345,000 pounds for the 2011 fishing year and  provides the agency with theauthority to re-open the recreational red snapper seasonlater this year, if appropriate.If NOAA Fisheries Service determines that the recreational sector did not harvest the full amount of its 2011  red snapper quota by  the  initial July 19, 2011, closure date,  then  the  agency would provide for a supplemental recreational red snapper season.

During 2010, the large fishery closed area stemming from the Deepwater Horizon MC252 oil spill severely curtailed the ability of the recreational sector to harvest its red snapper quota.  In April 2011, NOAA Fisheries Service projected the 2011 recreational quota would be met 48 days after the June 1 opening of the fishing season, and established a closure date for the recreational sector of July 19, 2011.  Subsequently, the Council requested the most recent red snapper stock assessment be rerun using actual landings for 2009 and 2010.  Based on the results of that rerun, the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee determined that the 2011  red snapper  total allowable catch could be increased from 7.185 to 7.53 million pounds.  During 2010, the recreational sector harvested only 66 percent of its  redsnapper quota, whereas the commercial sector harvested 96 percent of its quota.  Because of the greater economic impacts incurred to the recreational sector in 2010, the Council requested the entire 345,000 pounds of increased  total allowable catch  be  added to the recreational quota for the 2011 season.

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