The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a special meeting of the Reef Fish Management Committee January 7-8, in Tampa, Florida.
During the special meeting, the Reef Fish Committee will discuss several issues related to the management of red snapper. The Committee will review an analysis by the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) of an estimated 1.6 million pound overharvest of red snapper during the 2012 recreational season. The SSC is recommending a 0.38 million pound increase in the acceptable biological catch in 2013 to 8.46 million pounds.
The Committee will also review an analysis on how a bag limit reduction might increase the recreational red snapper season length. Based on these analyses, the Committee will recommend preferred alternatives in a draft framework action to adjust the red snapper commercial and recreational quotas and the recreational bag limit.
The Committee will also discuss:
• Red snapper sector allocations
• A 5-year review of the red snapper individual fishing quota (IFQ) program
• A scoping document on recreational red snapper regional management issues
The agenda also includes an item for an open discussion of red snapper management issues. The recommendations of the Committee will be presented to the full Council at its February 5-8 meeting in Mobile, Alabama.
Copies of the agenda and other related materials can be obtained by calling 813-348-1630. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore Hotel, 2225 North Lois Avenue in Tampa, Florida. The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday and will conclude by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.