NOAA Fisheries announces that a final rule to withhold 4.9 percent of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota in the Gulf of Mexico published on November 27, 2015. The rule will be implemented January 1, 2016. The rule withholds 352,000 pounds of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota in the Gulf of Mexico.
If approved, Amendment 28 would reallocate 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 will have more quota than is supported by Amendment 28.
The distribution of commercial individual fishing quota allocations occurs on January 1, 2016. The 352,000 pounds to be held back will result in a commercial quota of 6,768,000 pounds.
If Amendment 28 is not approved, the 352,000 pounds withheld will be returned to the commercial individual fishing quota program and distributed to the shareholders.
Electronic copies of the final rule and
supporting documents may be obtained from NOAA Fisheries Web site.