Framework Action to Implement Modification of the Gulf of Mexico Lane Snapper Catch Limits and Accountability Measures
The Framework Action and proposed rule increases the Gulf lane snapper overfishing limit to 1,053,834 pounds (lb) whole weight (ww), increases the acceptable biological catch (ABC) to 1,028,973 lb ww, and sets the annual catch limit (ACL) equal to the ABC. In addition, the proposed rule modifies the fishing season closure accountability measure such that NMFS would close lane snapper in any year in which the ACL is projected to be met. Finally, this rule opens lane snapper to fishing on December 23, 2021 until the end of the fishing year at midnight, 2021. The new lane snapper fishing year will open on January 1, 2022, and thus no closure will occur between seasons.
This final rule also corrects the Southeast Regional Office (SERO) website address in the two sections of the regulations that specify permit requirements and make several administrative changes pertaining to the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Programs regulations. These changes update the SERO Catch Share Program website listed in several sections of the regulations and replace references to specific required software with general language that IFQ participants simply use an up-to-date internet browser.