South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Proposes Snapper-Grouper Fishery Annual Catch Limit Revisions
NMFS proposes regulations to implement Regulatory Amendment 22 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP).
(From Federal Register) — The Council developed Regulatory Amendment 22 in response to the completion of stock assessments for gag and wreckfish that were reviewed by the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The SSC made acceptable biological catch (ABC) recommendations to the Council for gag and wreckfish that extend through 2019 and 2020, respectively, based upon the data used in the assessments.
The purpose of Regulatory Amendment 22 and this proposed rule is to adjust the ABC, ACL and OY for gag and wreckfish to address the recent stock assessment results and prevent overfishing while minimizing, to the extent practicable, adverse social and economic effects to the snapper-grouper fishery. This proposed rule would revise the directed commercial quota and the commercial and recreational ACLs for gag for the 2015 through the 2019 fishing years and subsequent fishing years.
In 2006, the gag stock was assessed through the SEDAR process and found to be undergoing overfishing and approaching an overfished condition (SEDAR 10 2006). The assessment was updated in 2014 to include data through 2012, and to provide new information on stock status (SEDAR 10 Update 2014). The 2014 update assessment indicated that the stock is undergoing overfishing based on the average fishing mortality rates from 2010-2012, but is not overfished.