NMFS is seeking comments on a proposed rule that would withhold a percentage of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota in the Gulf of Mexico.

This action would withhold 4.9 percent (352,000 lbs) of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota in the Gulf of Mexico in anticipation of Amendment 28’s approval.

During their August meeting, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted to submit Amendment 28 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan for review, approval, and implementation by the Secretary of Commerce.

Amendment 28 would relocate red snapper harvest between the commercial and recreational sectors from 51:49 percent to 48.5:51.5 percent, respectively. If that quota is not held back and Amendment 28 is approved then the commercial sector would have more quota than is supported by Amendment 28.

The distribution of commercial individual fishing quota allocations occurs on January 1, 2016. If the 352,000 lbs is not held back NOAA Fisheries has no way to get it back it for re-distribution to the recreational sectors quota.

You can read the proposal and leave comments online.

Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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