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May 24, 2013

NOAA Fisheries Increases Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Quota and Sets 2013 Federal Recreational Season

NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule for Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper. The rule sets the 2013 quotas for commercial and recreational red snapper harvest. The agency is increasing the quota because the population is growing. The red snapper overall quota will increase from the 2012 8.080 million pounds whole weight to 8.460 pounds whole weight for 2013.

2012 2013

Overall Quota 8.080 8.460

Commercial Allocation (51%) 4.121 4.315

Recreational Allocation (49%) 3.959 4.145

Recreational Season 

The federal recreational season for Gulf of Mexico red snapper begins June 1, 2013, with a 2-fish bag limit. During development of this final rule, NOAA Fisheries re-calculated the projected 2013 red snapper recreational season lengths off each Gulf state using updated recreational landings data as well as new information from Louisiana and Texas. The method for calculating the dates for the federal season for each state are available online at

http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/red_snapp....

 2013 Season Lengths

Mississippi and Alabama: In federal and state waters off Mississippi and Alabama due to consistent regulations, the season will be 34 days and close on July 5, 2013, at 12:01 a.m., local time.

Texas: In federal waters off Texas due to inconsistent regulations, the season will be 17 days, and close on June 18, 2013, at 12:01 a.m., local time. Texas state waters are open all year for recreational red snapper fishing with a four-fish bag limit.

Louisiana: In federal waters off Louisiana due to inconsistent regulations, the season will be 24 days, and close on June 25, 2013, at 12:01 a.m., local time. Louisiana state waters are open weekends only (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), March 23 - September 30, 2013, with a three-fish bag limit.

Florida: In federal waters off Florida due to inconsistent regulations, the season will be 26 days and close on June 27, 2013, at 12:01 a.m., local time. Florida state waters are open June 1 - July 14, 2013, with a two-fish bag limit.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will review the 2013 red snapper population assessment during their June meeting in Pensacola, FL. The council may request an emergency rule to increase the quota again based on the new scientific information and request NOAA Fisheries to reopen the recreational season for red snapper later in the year.

Electronic copies of the documents are available.

Final Rule: Federal eRulemaking Portal search "NOAA-NMFS-2013-0055"

www.regulations.gov  

Amendment: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council http://www.gulfcouncil.org and NOAA Fisheries http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/ 

This summary is not a substitute for the actual regulations. We encourage you to read the full text of the regulations, available at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.