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 Comment Period Ends March 10, 2016


NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would set 2016 and 2017 Gulf of Mexico red snapper quotas and recreational annual catch targets. These changes would result with the approval of Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico submitted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

 This amendment proposes to reallocate the 2016 and 2017 red snapper stock annual catch limit between the commercial and recreational sectors from 51:49 percent to 48.5:51.5 percent, respectively. The proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2016, with the comment period ending March 10, 2016. NOAA Fisheries encourages constituents to access the proposed rule and Amendment 28 for more complete information athttp://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2013/am28/index.html. 

 
If implemented by NOAA Fisheries, this rulemaking would result in revising the 2016 and 2017:
Commercial quotas,
Recreational quotas and annual catch targets,
Sub-quotas and annual catch targets for the private angling and federal for-hire components within the recreational sector.
The 2016 and 2017 quotas and annual catch targets in millions of pounds gutted weight are shown in the following table.
 
Sector or component            Quota        Annual catch target

2016                                      2017                   2016              2017
Commercial                           6.768                  6.664              ---        ---
Recreational                          7.192                  7.076              5.754    5.661
Federal for-hire                     3.042                   2.993              2.434    2.395
Private angling                      4.150                   4.083              3.320    3.266

 
Request for Comments
NOAA Fisheries must receive comments on this proposed rule no later than March 10, 2016. We will address all comments specifically directed to Amendment 28 or the proposed rule in the final rule. You may obtain electronic copies of Amendment 28 and the proposed rule from the NOAA Fisheries Web site:
 http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2013/am28/index.htmlor the e-Rulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov.
 
How to Submit Comments
You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2013-0146, by any of the following methods:

Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0146, click the "Comment Now!" icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
 
Mail: Submit written comments to Peter Hood, NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505.
 
Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments (enter "N/A" in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).
About Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.