The Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council has scheduled a public hearing in Kenner, Louisiana on Thursday, March 13, to solicit comments on Gulf red snapper allocation. The meeting will be held at LaQuinta Inn and Suites at 2610 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA at 6 p.m.
The Gulf Council is currently considering Reef Fish Amendment 28, which examines allocating red snapper resources between the commercial and recreational sectors.
The current allocation of Gulf of Mexico red snapper, which is 51% commercial and 49% recreational, was established in 1990 through Reef Fish Amendment 1. This allocation was based on the historical average of red snapper landings by sector from 1979 through 1987. The red snapper stock in the Gulf of Mexico has been under a rebuilding plan since 1997, and in 2012, NOAA Fisheries declared that overfishing of the stock had ended.
The Gulf Council recently held listening sessions throughout the Gulf coast regarding recreational fisheries management. Louisiana anglers showed up in greater numbers than all other Gulf States combined and overwhelmingly supported the Gulf Council revisiting outdated red snapper reallocations.
The Gulf Council is considering seven allocation alternatives. Their preferred alternative (#5) states that if the red snapper quota is less than or equal to 9.12 million pounds, the commercial and recreational red snapper allocations of 51% and 49% respectively, will be maintained. If the red snapper quota is greater than 9.12 million pounds, then 75% of the amount in excess of 9.12 million pounds will be allocated to the recreational sector and 25% to the commercial sector.
Comments on Reef Fish Amendment 28 will also be accepted online at http://bit.ly/MS14U0.
Logo courtesy Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council