NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule modifying commercial and recreational mutton snapper and commercial gag management measures in the Gulf of Mexico. The rule will:
- Modify the annual catch limit for mutton snapper
- Remove the annual catch target
- Decrease the mutton snapper recreational bag limit
- Increase the mutton snapper commercial and recreational minimum size limits
- Increase the gag commercial minimum size limit.
WHEN THIS RULE WILL TAKE EFFECT:
- Regulations will be effective: July 23, 2018.
WHAT THIS MEANS:
- The annual catch limits for mutton snapper during 2018-2020 will be decreased from 203,000 pounds whole weight to:
- 134,424 pounds whole weight in 2018,
- 139,292 pounds whole weight in 2019,
- and 143,694 pounds whole weight in 2020 and subsequent years.
- The annual catch target will be removed.
- The mutton snapper recreational bag limit will be decreased from 10 mutton snapper per angler per day within the 10-snapper aggregate bag limit to 5 mutton snapper per angler per day within the 10-snapper aggregate bag limit.
- The mutton snapper commercial and recreational minimum size limits will be increased from 16 inches total length (TL) to 18 inches TL.
- The gag commercial minimum size limit will be increased from 22 inches TL to 24 inches TL.
FORMAL FEDERAL REGISTER NAME/NUMBER: NOAA- NMFS-2017-0082, published June 22, 2018.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Why are these changes needed?
- In 2015, a population assessment indicated mutton snapper are not experiencing overfishing (rate of removal is not too high), and are not overfished (stock abundance is too low), but the adult population is smaller than previously estimated.
- Therefore, a reduction in mutton snapper harvest limits is necessary to ensure that overfishing does not occur.
- While only a quota reduction was needed at this time, additional mutton snapper recreational and commercial management measures were approved to aid in reduced harvest.
- Changes in commercial gag management measures allow for consistency between commercial and recreational fisheries within federal and state waters and across regions.
Where can I find more information on the Mutton Snapper and Gag Management Measures Framework?
- Contact NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office
By Mail: Rich Malinowski
NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505
By FAX: (727) 824-5308
By Phone: (727) 824-5305
- The Mutton Snapper and Gag Management Measures Framework may be found online at the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office Web site at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2017/mutton_gag/mutton_gag_index.html.
SIGN UP FOR TEXT MESSAGE ALERTS - FIND OUT ABOUT IMMEDIATE OPENINGS AND CLOSURES
NOAA's Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery related alerts via text message (SMS). Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.
Text alerts you may receive include:
- Immediate fishery openings and closures
- Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly
Sign up for one or more of the following groups:
- Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
- Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
- South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
- South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
- Caribbean Fisheries Related Alerts
- Text CARIBFISH to 888777
Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707
Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750