Amendment 18 to the Fishery Management Plan fo the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Waters
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Amendment 18 to the Fishery Management Plan fo the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Waters
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  • Alternative Title:
    Modifying the Shrimp Effort Threshold
  • Description:
    Amendment 18 would adjust the target reduction goal for juvenile red snapper mortality in the federal Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) shrimp fishery in the 10-30 fathom depth zone and would modify the Shrimp FMP Management Measures Framework Procedure. Effort was capped in the shrimp fishery to protect juvenile red snapper caught as bycatch in shrimp nets as part of the Gulf red snapper rebuilding plan. The Gulf red snapper stock is no longer overfished or undergoing overfishing, and the red snapper stock acceptable biological catch (ABC) has consistently increased under the rebuilding plan. However, the shrimp fishery has not seen similar benefits from the rebuilding of the red snapper stock. The National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) evaluated the impact of increases in shrimp fishing effort in the area monitored for juvenile red snapper bycatch (statistical zones 10-21 in 10-30 fathoms water depth). That analysis was based on the most recent red snapper stock assessment and determined that a moderate increase in shrimp effort is unlikely to impact ABCs for Gulf red snapper or alter the rebuilding schedule (SEDAR 52 2018). The results projected negligible changes in the ABCs for red snapper at 60% and at 56% reductions below the baseline. Preferred Option b for Action 1 would reduce the target reduction goal for shrimp effort threshold from 67% to 60% below the baseline effort in the years 2001-2003, which were the three most recent years of data available when the red snapper assessment was started that served as the basis for Shrimp Amendment 14/Reef Fish Amendment 27 (GMFMC 2007). The second action would revise the Shrimp FMP management measures framework procedure to allow changes to the target reduction goal for juvenile red snapper mortality through the standard open framework documentation process. The action also adds ABC adjustments for royal red shrimp to the abbreviated framework procedure. The adoption of a framework procedure for addressing effort in the shrimp fishery would be expected to facilitate faster corrective action, reducing both the cost of action and pace at which benefits for the action would be received.
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