The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council took final action on a Framework Action to increase the red grouper overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limits (ACLs) and annual catch targets (ACTs). Increases to catch levels from the Framework Action are contingent on approval and implementation of Amendment 53 by the Secretary of Commerce. The catch levels set in Amendment 53 and the newly recommended catch levels, which are based on the sector allocations and ACT buffers in Amendment 53, are shown in pounds gutted weight in this table:
An adjustment to the recreational landings in weights provided by the most recent stock assessment (SEDAR 61) and an interim analysis based on National Marine Fisheries Service Bottom Longline Survey data increase abundance estimates for red grouper. This allows the Council to increase catch limits accordingly.
This Framework Action to Modify Gulf of Mexico Red Grouper Catch Limits will be transmitted to the Secretary of Commerce for approval and implementation as soon as practicable.