Amendment 32: Management of Gulf Migratory Group Cobia
Amendment 32 proposes to modify Gulf Migratory Group cobia (Gulf Group cobia) recreational data monitoring data units from Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Coastal Household Telephone Survey to MRIP Fishing Effort Survey and reduce the Gulf Group cobia acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limits (ACL), and annual catch targets based on the most recent stock assessment (Southeast Data Assessment and Review 28 Update). Further, Amendment 32 proposes to increase the Gulf Group cobia minimum size limit in the Florida East Coast (FLEC) Zone; reduce the possession limit and implement a vessel and trip limit across the Gulf Group cobia range; modify the Gulf and FLEC zone apportionment of the Gulf Group cobia stock ACL; and modify the FLEC Zone sector allocation. Amendment 32 also proposes changes to the CMP Framework procedure to clarify South Atlantic Fishery Management Council responsibilities for Gulf Group cobia and make some clarifying updates to language regarding the ABC Control Rule.
The need for the rule is to end overfishing of Gulf Group cobia as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act , update existing Gulf Group cobia catch limits to be consistent with best scientific information available and contemporary data collection methods, and to clarify the Gulf and South Atlantic Councils’ responsibilities in the CMP FMP framework procedure.