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Request for Comments: Proposed Rule to Increase Lane Snapper Catch Limits and Modify Accountability Measures in the Gulf of Mexico

October 15, 2021

FB21-073: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Bulletin; For more information, contact: Daniel Luers: 727-824-5305, Daniel.Luers@noaa.gov

Lane Snapper photo

Key Message:

NOAA Fisheries requests your comments on a proposed rule for lane snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.  Comments are due by November 2, 2021.


Summary Of Proposed Changes:

  • Lane snapper catch limits:
    • The proposed rule would increase the lane snapper annual catch limit from 301,000 pounds (lb) whole weight (ww) to 1,028,973 lb ww.
    • The proposed rule would also modify the accountability measure for lane snapper such that harvest would close when NOAA Fisheries projects that the annual catch limit would be harvested.
  • Corrections in individual fishing quota (IFQ) program regulations:
    • The proposed rule would update the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to replace the obsolete webpage addresses for the Southeast Regional Office’s (SERO) website for fishing permits, forms, and resources, and the website for portal access to the SERO Catch Shares Program.
    • The proposed rule would update the webpage address in the CFR for the SERO public-facing website displaying landings information and providing customer support for the IFQ Program.
    • The proposed rule would modify the language in the CFR regarding IFQ websites software requirements to make the requirements more general (i.e. not include specific browsers or software).

How To Comment On The Proposed Rule:

The comment period is open now through November 2, 2021.  You may submit comments by electronic submission or by postal mail.  Comments sent by any other method (such as e-mail), to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries.

Formal Federal Register Name/Number: 86 FR 57629, published October 18, 2021


Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. 

  1. Go to https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/NOAA-NMFS-2021-0073-0001.
  2. Click the "Comment Now!" icon, complete the required fields.
  3. Enter or attach your comments.

Mail: Submit written comments to Daniel Luers, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is the annual catch limit increasing?

  • A lane snapper interim analysis, completed in 2020, indicated an increase in abundance of the lane snapper population.
  • The proposed annual catch limit would also increase because of a change in recreational survey data used to generate those limits.  Previously, the annual catch limits were calculated using recreational data from the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistical Survey (MRFSS).  Catch limits are now calculated using the Marine Recreational Information Program Fishing Effort Survey (MRIP-FES).  Conversion from MRFSS to MRIP-FES resulted in a near doubling of recreational catch and effort estimates because MRIP-FES indicates much greater recreational fishing effort than previously estimated.
  • The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee determined the interim analysis suitable for providing catch advice and recommended an increase to catch levels.

What changes will occur on the NOAA Fisheries Permit and IFQ webpages?

The new website address will replace the obsolete address that is currently referenced in the Code of Federal Regulations.

  • NOAA Fisheries has updated browser requirements for the IFQ pages such that any current, up to date browser can be used.  These browsers may be downloaded free from the internet.
  • NOAA Fisheries has updated the webpage address for IFQ landing, accounts, applications, etc., for both grouper/tilefish IFQ and red snapper IFQ to the following web address:  https://secatchshares.fisheries.noaa.gov.

Where can I find more information on the Lane Snapper Catch Limits Framework?

  • Contact NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

       By Mail: Daniel Luers

       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

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


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Other contacts:

Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707

            Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on April 11, 2022