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Council Recommends Increasing Vermilion Snapper Catch Limits

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Council (Council) took final action on a Framework Action to increase the vermilion snapper overfishing limit, acceptable biological catch, and annual catch limit. The most recent stock assessment (SEDAR 67, 2020) determined that the stock is not overfished nor experiencing overfishing. In addition to incorporating new recreational catch and effort estimations (MRIP-FES), the assessment shows that the stock is healthy. The Council heard public comments indicating that the stock may not be able handle a substantial increase in harvest. As suggested by the Reef Fish Advisory Panel, the Council added a new alternative to modify the overfishing limit and acceptable biological catch based on recommendations from the Scientific and Statistical Committee and set the Annual Catch Limit at 75% of the ABC, and selected it as the preferred. The increased vermilion snapper catch limits in pounds whole weight for the years 2021 – 2025 and beyond are as follows:

Overfishing LimitAcceptable Biological CatchAnnual Catch Limit
8,600,0007,270,0005,450,000

This Framework Action to Modify Vermilion Snapper Overfishing Limit, Acceptable Biological Catch, and Annual Catch Limit will be transmitted to the Secretary of Commerce for approval and implementation as soon as practicable.

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