Council Requests Emergency Rule Resulting in 11-day Recreational Red Snapper Season for 2014
After receiving a briefing on a recent court decision in response to a legal challenge
on management of the recreational component of the red snapper fishery, the Council
took actions to prevent the recreational sector from exceeding its quota in 2014 and
For the short-term, the Council asked the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
to implement an emergency rule that establishes a 20% buffer on the 5.39 million
pound recreational quota – a buffer with only a 15% probability that the quota will be
exceeded. The 20% buffer, which provides a low probability that the quota will be
exceeded, results in a recreational annual catch target (ACT) of 4.312 million pounds,
and an 11-day red snapper recreational season for 2014. The bag limit will remain 2-
fish per person.
The 11-day season takes into consideration the incompatible state seasons and bag
limits adopted by Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. The Council also voted to withdraw a
framework action submitted in February that would rescind the Amendment 30B
permit provision, which requires vessels with federal charter vessel/headboat permits
to abide by federal regulations if more restrictive when fishing in state waters.
To address the issue long-term, the Council has asked staff to include accountability
measure alternatives for the recreational allocation, such as buffers and overage
adjustments, in the Allocation Amendment (Reef Fish Amendment 28).
Staff will also begin developing a scoping document that explores a possible IFQ-type
program for the for-hire component of the red snapper fishery.