| Framework action to set the 2013 gag recreational fishing season & bag limit & modify the February-March shallow-water grouper closed season, including environmental assessment, regulatory impact review, and regulatory flexibility act analysis : final reef fish framework action to the fishery management plan for the reef fish resources of the Gulf of Mexico - :4700 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Framework action to set the 2013 gag recreational fishing season & bag limit & modify the February-March shallow-water grouper closed season, including environmental assessment, regulatory impact review, and regulatory flexibility act analysis : final reef fish framework action to the fishery management plan for the reef fish resources of the Gulf of Mexico
  • Published Date:
    2012
Filetype[PDF-2.43 MB]


Details:
  • Personal Authors:
  • Corporate Authors:
    Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council ; United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Southeast Region. ; United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of Program Planning and Integration,
  • Description:
    Gulf of Mexico gag is overfished and the stock is currently in a rebuilding plan. The rebuilding plan is scheduled to increase the recreational annual catch target from 1.031 to 1.287 million pounds in 2013. The current recreational gag season is July 1 to October 31 and was designed to limit the harvest to the 2012 recreational annual catch target of 1.031 million pounds while providing the longest possible recreational season. One purpose of this framework action is to establish a 2013 gag recreational fishing season consistent with the 1.287 million pound annual catch target. Moving the open season starting date or splitting the season so it is open at a time when there is greater fishing effort would reduce the number of days available to fish. Maintaining a single season starting date at July 1 would allow more days fishing, but at a time when there is less recreational demand to fish for gag. To allow additional days in the open season, the framework action also considers setting a 1-fish bag limit for gag rather than 2-fish. The current recreational shallow-water grouper closed season of February 1 through March 31 was developed partly to protect gag spawning aggregations. However, because a separate recreational gag season has been developed as part of the gag rebuilding plan and other shallow-water grouper stocks are considered healthy, the utility of the shallowwater grouper closure has been questioned. In addition, much of the dominant gag spawning grounds are now protected by time-area closures. Therefore, a second purpose of this framework action is to evaluate the shallow-water grouper recreational closure to see if it should be modified or eliminated.

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