NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule to increase catch limits for Gulf of Mexico vermilion snapper.
When the Rule Will Take Effect:
Regulations will be effective May 25, 2023
What This Means:
The final rule and framework action will increase the catch limits as indicated below. The current and new overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC), and stock annual catch limit (ACL) are shown in pounds whole weight. However, because the new catch limits were derived, in part, using updated recreational landing estimates, they cannot be directly compared to the current catch limits.
Catch Limit Type
Formal Federal Register Name/Number:88 FR 24921, published April 25, 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are the vermilion snapper catch limits increasing?
The catch limits increase for vermilion snapper is based on the results of the most recent stock assessment, which indicates the stock is healthy, and recommendations from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee.
Catch limits are also increasing because the stock assessment used Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Fishing Effort Survey (FES) data in place of MRIP Coastal Household Telephone Survey (CHTS) data.
Landings estimates for vermilion snapper from the MRIP-FES are greater than those from the MRIP-CHTS.
The OFL is an estimate of the catch level above which overfishing is occurring. This value is a result of the outcome of a stock assessment and is equivalent to the yield at the maximum fishing mortality threshold.
The ABC is defined as the level of a stock or stock complex’s annual catch that accounts for the scientific uncertainty in the estimate of OFL and any other scientific uncertainty, and was specified based on the ABC control rule.
The ACL is an annual limit expressed in pounds or numbers of fish that serves as the basis for invoking accountability measures.
What is the new data collection method for the Marine Recreational Information Program?
Launched in 2015, the MRIP-FES replaced the MRIP-CHTS in 2018. Both survey methods collect data needed to estimate marine recreational fishing effort (number of fishing trips) by shore and private/rental boat anglers on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts.
The MRIP-CHTS used random-digit dialing of homes in coastal counties to contact fishermen.
The new mail-based MRIP-FES uses fishing license and registration information as one way to identify and contact fishermen (supplemented with data from the U.S. Postal Service).
NOAA Fisheries conducted side-by-side testing of the two surveys from 2015 to 2017 to develop a calibration model for transitioning between the two data currencies.
When will this final rule be implemented?
The rule will be effective on May 25, 2023.
Where can I find more information on Vermilion Snapper Framework Action?