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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BM56 Publication ID: Fall 2023 
Title: ●Framework Action under the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf): Update to Red Snapper Calibrations and Gray Snapper Catch Limits 

The framework action and proposed rule would modify the calibration ratios used to compare the recreational red snapper landings estimates derived from the state surveys used by Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi to the estimates derived from the Federal Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Coastal Household Telephone Survey (CHTS), which were used in the most recent red snapper stock assessment. These calibration ratios are used to convert the Federal red snapper private angling catch limit for each of the states into state specific catch limits that are directly comparable to the estimates produced by each state’s survey. Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi requested that the Council and NMFS consider updating their calibration ratios based on more recent data. The proposed rule would update the calibration ratio for Alabama from 0.4875 to 0.548, for Florida from 1.0602 to 1.34, and for Mississippi from 0.3840 to 0.503, and apply those updated ratios to the current federal catch limits for each state. In addition, the proposed rule increases the gray snapper catch limits, including the overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC), and the stock annual catch limit (ACL) based on the most recent stock assessment and recommendations from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee. It would set the gray snapper OFL, ABC, and ACL at 7.546 million pounds, 6.226 million pounds, and 5.728 million pounds, respectively, for 2024 and successive years. The need for this action is to improve management of red snapper and gray snapper.  For red snapper, more contemporary state private recreational landings data are being used to modify calibration ratios for Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and these updated calibration ratios will be used to inform catch levels for the private recreational sector. For gray snapper, a more recent stock assessment has produced contemporary yield projections and considering an update to stock catch levels consistent with the best scientific information available. For the states of Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi, the proposed action would increase the calibrated state ACL by 106,352 pounds, 700,578 pounds, and 22,988 pounds, respectively. For these states, corresponding annual increases in consumer surplus to anglers are estimated at $1.58 million, $10.38 million, and $0.34 million ($2021), respectively, for a combined annual benefit of $12.3 million. As stated in the Regulatory Impact Review, the proposed increase in the stock ACL for gray snapper offers a potential benefit, which would be annual increases in for-hire trips targeting gray snapper and producer surplus estimated at 5,023 trips and $0.88 million ($2021), respectively. For the commercial sector, the potential benefit would be annual increases in commercial gray snapper landings, revenues and, producer surplus estimated at 25,909 lb whole weight (ww), $94,309 ($2021), and $49,041, respectively. Those potential benefits assume landings have been constrained by the current ACL and would reach the proposed stock ACL. However, from 2012-2022, combined commercial and recreational landings of gray snapper have been less than the applicable ACL. Thus, the total annual benefit would more likely be limited to the $12.3 million resulting from the change to the state red snapper calibrated ACLs. The total private and public one-time cost would be $65,000.  Therefore, the first-year net benefit (less than total cost) would be about $12.2 million, followed by annual net benefit of $12.3 million.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 622   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  11/00/2023 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: State 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Andrew J. Strelcheck
Regional Administrator, Southeast Region
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
263 13th Avenue South,
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone:727 824-5305