New criteria introduced for management of Gulf of Mexico reef fish and red drum

NOAA Fisheries has approved new criteria to inform the management of Gulf of Mexico reef and red drum fish.

In March 2022, NOAA Fisheries and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council recommended changes to the fisheries management plans for reef fish and red drum in the Gulf of Mexico – Amendment 48 to the Fisheries Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Amendment 5 to the Gulf of Mexico Red Drum Fishery Management Plan.

The two fisheries management plans are reviewed annually with the aim of establishing or modifying the maximum sustainable yield and limiting overfishing.

The public comment period on the amendments was open until May 9, 2022, and public comments have been considered in the changes to both amendments, NOAA said.

The list of species affected by the changes includes cubera snapper, lane snapper, sheep snapper, yellowtail snapper, hogfish, black grouper, goliath grouper, shallow water grouper complex, deep-sea grouper complex, the tilefish complex, the trevally complex and mid-water snapper complex.

Full details of the fisheries changes can be found in Federal Register Volume 87, Number 110, published June 8, 2022.

Report by Jose Artunes

Photo courtesy of LiveOakPhotos/Shutterstock

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