50 CFR § 622.23 - State management of the red snapper recreational sector private angling component in the Gulf EEZ.

§ 622.23 State management of the red snapper recreational sector private angling component in the Gulf EEZ.

(a) Delegation. Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas (Gulf states) are delegated the authority to manage certain aspects of recreational red snapper harvest by the private angling component in the Gulf EEZ (i.e., delegation). All other management measures for recreational red snapper in the Gulf EEZ not specified in this section continue to apply during state management.

(1) Delegation of authority. As described in the FMP for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico, each Gulf state must specify the red snapper private angling component fishing season start and end dates to maintain harvest levels within the state's ACL, as stated in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section. Each state must also specify a recreational bag limit and a minimum size limit within the range of 14 to 18 inches (35.6 cm to 45.7 cm), total length. Each state may specify a maximum size limit. If NMFS determines that a state's red snapper private angling component regulations are inconsistent with the FMP and the state fails to correct the inconsistency after notice and an opportunity to do so, or a state does not specify the required management measures set forth above, i.e., fishing season start and end dates, a recreational bag limit, and a minimum size limit, then NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register stating that the default management measures for the red snapper private angling component, as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, apply in the EEZ off that state.

(i) State management areas. For purposes of the delegation of the authority to establish certain management measures for the red snapper private angling component, five areas in the Gulf EEZ have been established; one off each of the five Gulf states: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The boundaries off each state are described in § 622.2.

(ii) State private angling component ACLs. All ACLs specified below are in round weight.

(A) Alabama regional management area - 1,122,662 lb (509,231 kg).

(B) Florida regional management area - 1,913,451 lb (867,927 kg).

(C) Louisiana regional management area - 816,233 lb (370,237 kg).

(D) Mississippi regional management area - 151,550 lb (68,742 kg).

(E) Texas regional management area - 265,105 lb (120,250 kg).

(2) Default management measures. If a state's delegation is suspended, the Federal management measures for the private angling season, recreational bag limit, and minimum size limit as described in §§ 622.34(b) (seasonal closure), 622.37(a)(1) (size limit), 622.38(b)(3) (bag limit), and 622.41(q)(2)(i) (season length) apply in the EEZ off that state. All other management measures not specified in this section remain in effect.

(b) Post-season ACL adjustments for states with an active delegation. If a state's red snapper private angling component landings exceed the applicable state's component ACL specified in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register, at or near the beginning of the following fishing year, reducing that state's private angling ACL by the amount of the ACL overage in the prior fishing year, unless the best scientific information available determines that a greater, lesser, or no overage adjustment is necessary.

(c) Area closures. As described in the FMP, for the red snapper private angling component, a state with an active delegation may request that NMFS establish an area closure in the EEZ off that state that prohibits the private angling component from harvesting or possessing red snapper. If NMFS determines that the request is within the scope of the analysis in the FMP, NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register to implement the requested closure for the fishing year.

[85 FR 6823, Feb. 6, 2020]

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