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New catch limits proposed for red grouper

NOAA Fishery Bulletin FB18-023 requests comments on a proposed rule to revise the Annual Catch Limits for South Atlantic red grouper.

This proposed rule would reduce the annual catch limits for South Atlantic red grouper in response to the results of the latest population assessment.

Comments are due May 3, 2018.

The proposed rule would reduce the total and sector annual catch limits for red grouper.

The proposed catch limits in pounds whole weight are:

Total Current Annual Catch Limit: 780,000 with commercial at 343,200 and recreational at 436,800.

For 2018, the total annual catch limit would be set at 139,000 with 61,160 for commercial and 77,840 for recreational.

For 2019, the total annual catch limit would be set at 150,000 with 66,000 for commercial and 84,000 for recreational.

In 2020 and until modified, total annual catch limit 162,000 with commercial at 72,280 and recreational at 90,720.

The comment period is open now through May 3, 2018. The comment period is open through May 3, 2018.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register April 3, 2018, 83 FR 14234.

Submit comments electronically through regulations.gov using NOAA-NMFS-2017-0162.

Submit written comments to Frank Helies, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

The rule is proposed for the Abbreviated Framework Amendment 1 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, which addresses red grouper in the South Atlantic.

That Framework can be found online at sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries.

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