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The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is seeking comments on Amendment 40 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico. Amendment 40 is in the early stages of development and considers alternatives to define private and for-hire components of the recreational red snapper fishery and allocate red snapper resources between these components.

 

The purpose of Amendment 40 is to increase the stability of the for-hire component, provide a basis for increased flexibility in future management of the recreational sector, and reduce the chance for recreational quota overruns which could affect rebuilding of the red snapper stock. A guide to the amendment has been posted on the Council web site and can be downloaded here – gulfcouncil.org/docs/SectorSeparationGuide.pdf.

Comments can be submitted to the Council through its online comment form – http://www.gulfcouncil.org/council_meetings/comment_forms/RF%20Amendment%2040%20-%20Sector%20Separation.php. The Council will accept comments throughout the amendment process.

Additionally, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Southeast Regional Office has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register – http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-12-24/pdf/2013-30694.pdf. Comments on the NOI must be received by NMFS by January 23, 2014.You may submit comments by placing ”NOAA-NMFS-2013-0178” in the subject line and submitting in any of the following methods:

Mail: Submit written comments to Peter Hood, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ”N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

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