National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Notice of intent (NOI) to prepare a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS); request for comments.
NMFS, Southeast Region, in collaboration with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council), intends to prepare a DEIS to describe and analyze management alternatives to be included in the State Management Program for Recreational Red Snapper Amendment to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (State Management Program Amendment). The State Management Program Amendment will consider alternatives that would allocate the total recreational red snapper annual catch limit (ACL) for the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) among the individual Gulf states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, and designate the components of the recreational sector that would be included under a state’s management program (private angling and/or charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) components). These decisions would form the basis for individual state amendments to the FMP to allow each of the Gulf states to establish management measures for the recreational harvest of red snapper in adjacent Gulf Federal waters. State management would enable each state to specify the management measures that best meet the needs of its constituents, thereby addressing regional socio-economic concerns. The purpose of this NOI is to inform the public of upcoming opportunities to provide additional comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS, as specified in this notice.