Gulf Council addresses snapper sectors

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council recently met in Biloxi, Miss. to discuss a number of fishery issues, including recreational red snapper sector separation and accountability measures.

During the meeting, the Council reviewed recommendations made by its Red Snapper Advisory Panel. Council staff also presented public hearing and public comment summaries, along with a revised Reef Fish Amendment 40 – Sector Separation document for Council discussion.

The Reef Fish Amendment 40 divides the recreational red snapper sector into two distinct components – a private angling component and a for-hire component.

After hearing public comment, the Council decided to change its preferred alternative to Alternative 7, which would allocate the recreational red snapper quota based on 50% of the average percentages landed by each component between 1986 and 2013 and 50% of the average percentages landed by each component between 2006 and 2013. The year 2010 was excluded from the percentage averages due to the Gulf oil spill.

The new preferred alternative would result in a federal for-hire allocation of 44% and a private angling allocation of 56%.

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