Purpose of the Amendment: This amendment implements catch level recommendations from the Council’s SSC and revises sector allocations and ACLs for dolphin and wahoo, addresses deficiencies in the recreational AMs for dolphin and wahoo, and responds to public comments received on changes needed in the dolphin wahoo fishery.
Action Summary: Revise the total ACLs, sector allocations, and accountability measures for dolphin and wahoo. Also allow the retention of dolphin and wahoo when trap, pot, or buoy gear are onboard a vessel, remove the operator card requirement, and reduce the recreational vessel limit for dolphin from 60 fish to 54 fish.
- March 2016: The Council directed staff to begin development of a joint dolphin wahoo and snapper grouper amendment to examine different ways to allocate or share quota between the commercial and recreational sectors for dolphin and yellowtail snapper.
- June 2016: Approved for scoping.
- December 2016: The Council split Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10 from Snapper Grouper Amendment 44.
- March 2017: The Council decided to stop work on the amendment until revised MRIP data were available.
- December 2018: The Council directed staff to start work again on the amendment.
- June 2020: The Council received revised catch level recommendations for dolphin and wahoo.
- March 2021: Approve for public hearings.
- June 2021: Final vote to approve amendment for submittal to NMFS.
- October 2021: The amendment was submitted to NMFS.
- May 2, 2022: Rule changes effective.
- Revised the annual catch limit and accountability measures for dolphin and wahoo.
- Revised sector allocations of the total annual catch limit for dolphin from 10% commercial: 90% recreational to 7% commercial: 93% recreational.
- Revised sector allocations of the total annual catch limit for wahoo from 3.93% commercial: 96.07% recreational to 2.45% commercial: 97.55% recreational.
- Allowed retention of up to 500 lbs gutted weight of dolphin and 500 lbs of wahoo onboard properly permitted vessels when trap, pot, or buoy gear is onboard.
- Removed the operator card requirement.
- Reduced the recreational vessel limit from 60 fish per vessel to 54 fish per vessel.