Lane Snapper Opens Today in Gulf of Mexico

NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule for lane snapper in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf).  This rule:

  • Opens lane snapper commercial and recreational fishing, effective at 12:01 am on December 23, for the remainder of 2021.
  • Increases the annual catch limit for lane snapper,
  • Changes the accountability measure from post-season to an inseason measure,
  • Corrects language in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) regarding individual fishing quota (IFQ) program regulations.

When Rule Will Take Effect:

  • The regulations modifying the lane snapper management measures are effective on December 23, 2021.  The regulations correcting the IFQ language are effective on January 22, 2022.

Summary of Changes:

  • Lane snapper catch limits:
    • This rule increases the lane snapper annual catch limit from 301,000 pounds (lb) whole weight (ww) to 1,028,973 lb ww.
    • This rule also modifies the accountability measure for lane snapper such that NOAA Fisheries will monitor landings every year and close harvest when the annual catch limit is projected to be reached.
    • This rule reopens lane snapper to commercial and recreational fishing on December 23, 2021, for the remainder of the 2021 fishing year.
  • Corrections in IFQ program regulations:
    • This rule updates the CFR to replace the obsolete webpage addresses for the Southeast Regional Office’s (SERO) website for fishing permits, forms, and resources, and the website for portal access to the SERO Catch Shares Program.
    • This rule updates the webpage address in the CFR for the SERO public-facing website displaying landings information and providing customer support for the IFQ Program.
    • This rule modifies the language in the CFR regarding IFQ websites software requirements to make the requirements more general (i.e. not include specific browsers or software).

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