For Immediate Release
August 15, 2019


The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council took final action on Reef Fish Amendment 51, which considers establishing or revising gray snapper status determination criteria and modifying Annual Catch Limits. The Council chose alternatives that minimize buffers and are consistent with the idea that the gray snapper stock is quite resilient.


The Council established an 11% buffer between the Acceptable Biological Catch and Annual Catch Limit. The resulting harvest levels are as follows:


Year OFL (mp ww) ABC (mp ww) ACL (mp ww)
2019 2.59 2.52 2.24
2020 2.58 2.51 2.24
2021+ 2.57 2.51 2.23


The Council also set status determination criteria that define the thresholds where the stock is considered to be overfished or experiencing overfishing. Based on the Council’s recommendations, the gray snapper Maximum Sustainable Yield Proxy will be set at 26% of spawning potential ratio. The Maximum Fishing Mortality Threshold will be set consistent with the Maximum Sustainable Yield Proxy. The Minimum Stock Size Threshold will be set equal to 50% of the biomass at Maximum Sustainable Yield and the Optimum Yield will be set at 90% of the fishing mortality at Maximum Sustainable Yield.


The Council will submit these proposed changes to the Secretary of Commerce for approval and implementation.