but the season is the shortest yet.....geez louise....
Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Quota Increases and Recreational Red Snapper Season
NOAA Fisheries Service has published a final rule implementing increases in the commercial and recreational red snapper quotas in the Gulf of Mexico from 3.542 and 3.403 million pounds (MP) to 3.66 and 3.525 MP in 2011, respectively. A recent red snapper assessment update projected overfishing (rate of removal is too high) ended in 2009, and therefore, the total allowable catch can be increased from the existing 6.945 MP to 7.185 MP. This action was evaluated in a regulatory amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico. The final rule published in the Federal Register on April 29, 2011.
The recreational red snapper season opens June 1, 2011. NOAA Fisheries Service has projected the red snapper recreational quota will be harvested by July 18, 2011. The fishing season will close at 12:01 a.m. July 19, 2011. The 48-day season is the shortest season to date since the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council chose to begin the season on June 1, and is, in part, the result of the increasing size of the fish being landed. Between 2007 and 2010, the average weight of a red snapper landed in the Gulf of Mexico increased from 3.32 to 5.34 pounds per fish. Between 2007 and 2008, there was a 29 percent increase in the average weight of red snapper landed. Between 2008 and 2009 there was an 18 percent increase in the average weight of red snapper landed. Between 2009 and 2010 there was a 5.4 percent increase in the average weight of red snapper landed.
Between 2010 and 2011, stock assessment projections indicate average weight will increase by 10 percent. The observed increases in average weight appear to be tracking stock assessment projections, but at a slightly lower rate of increase. Increases in average weight are expected as the stock rebuilds and the number of older, larger fish in the population increases. For more information on how the red snapper season length was calculated, refer to a document titled “2011 Recreational Red Snapper Quota Closure Analysis” located on the Southeast Regional Office’s Web Page (see below).
This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This bulletin provides only a summary of the information about the rule. Discrepancies between this bulletin and the rule as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.
Copies of the final rule are available by contacting NOAA Fisheries Service’s Southeast Regional Office at 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701. The final rule can be obtained in electronic form from the Federal Register Web site: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html
(use advanced search for final rules using “BA54” as a keyword)