NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on a proposed rule that would withhold a percentage of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota in the Gulf of Mexico.
This action would withhold 4.9 percent (352,000 lbs) of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota in the Gulf of Mexico in anticipation of Amendment 28’s approval.
During their August 2015 meeting, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted to submit Amendment 28 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan for review, approval, and implementation by the Secretary of Commerce.
Amendment 28 would relocate red snapper harvest between the commercial and recreational sectors from 51/49 percent to 48.5/51.5 percent, respectively. If that quota is not held back and Amendment 28 is approved then the commercial sector would have more quota than is supported by Amendment 28.
The distribution of commercial individual fishing quota allocations occurs on January 1, 2016. If the 352,000 lbs is not held back NOAA Fisheries has no way to get it back it for re-distribution to the recreational sectors quota.
How to Submit Comments:
NOAA Fisheries must receive comments on this proposed rulemaking no later than November 3, 2015. You may submit comments on the amendment or the proposed rule, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2015-0121”, by one of the following methods:
Electronic Submission: Go to the federal e-Rulemaking Portal at: www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0121, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments.
Mail: NOAA Fisheries
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
c/o Rich Malinowski
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505
All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on the regulations.gov website 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.