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harbisonharbison Posts: 4,554 Captain
Gulf Council Votes to Increase the Red Snapper Quotas

for 2015 and Beyond



The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council met today via webinar to review recommendations made by its scientific advisors regarding the red snapper quotas for 2015 and beyond. The Council moved to set the red snapper quota equal to the acceptable biological as show below:



Year
ABC
Total Quota
Commercial Quota
Recreational Quota
Recreational

ACT

2015
14.30 mp
14.30 mp
7.26 mp
7.04 mp
5.632 mp

2016
13.96 mp
13.96 mp
7.12 mp
6.84 mp
5.472 mp

2017+
13.74 mp
13.74 mp
7.01 mp
6.73 mp
5.384 mp




The 2017 quota will remain in effect until changed by the Council.



If approved by the Department of Commerce, this action increases the 2015 total quota by 3.3 million pounds, resulting in a commercial quota of 7.26 million pounds, and a recreational quota of 7.04 million pounds. The total recreational annual catch target will be 5.632 million pounds. The length of the recreational season has yet to be determined. NOAA Fisheries Service will determine and announce the 2015 season in the coming weeks.

Replies

  • snake 166snake 166 Posts: 101 Deckhand
    Having been involved in this fishery for 57 years here is my take on the future----We have been enjoying the greatest fishing for red snapper in history. Starting in 2006-07 we began to see some really strong age classes move into the population. Had nothing to do with the management but could have been related to reef construction, decline in shrimper bycatch or just statistical variation. It is not sustainable. Now we are in a situation where the fishery is being abused by culling, catch and release with high fishing mortality. The first indicator is a shift in average size to the left---but that is being masked by culling which is holding up the average size artificially. This will be compounded by the explosion of the lionfish population which for some reason are loading up on the artificial reefs and driving off red snapper by occupying the areas of the artificial reef that the snapper use for refuge. Hope I am wrong but we are already finding the snapper to be smaller than last years and also finding that many reefs---artificial and natural are vacant.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,554 Captain
    I am a Florida native who has been fishing Central Florida ever since the late forties. We in Central Florida have not had red snapper long enough to establish any real patterns. All I know is that they are so aggressive and often almost impossible to get away from. We are catching many in all size ranges. Last year we would target them; quickly catch our limit, and try our best to avoid them.
    A%20R%20S%20_zpsgapjt9hx.jpg
    Obviously they, as all fish, must be strictly regulated; regulated through science; not greed. Last year's 9 day season did very little towards establishing a healthy reef balance.
    Someone mentioned lion fish. They are indeed a very real threat. We are seeing more & more of them all the time. We never return a live one to the water. Much more study is needed on how to best deal with them:
    Untitled_zps44bc1380.jpg
  • Tom HiltonTom Hilton Posts: 1,585 Captain
    Considering that in recent years the Gulf Council has increased our quota yet reduced our season lengths, this recent increase in quota will project our 2015 recreational red snapper season to be (-)36 days.

    GREAT job Gulf Council - mission accomplished!
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,554 Captain
    Only in NOAA land !
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