Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 31 (not developed)
In recent years, the Council has requested information on possible approaches to improve recreational landings estimates, particularly for species that are infrequently intercepted in the recreational survey. However, the accuracy of such estimates has not improved enough to allow efficient tracking of recreational annual catch limits (ACLs) and has led to mounting frustration among fishery managers, stock assessment analysts, and recreational anglers. The Council is already working on methods to obtain additional data (e.g., Amendment 46, MyFishCount App) that could eventually be used to improve management of recreational fisheries in the region. A possible avenue to lessen the impact of uncertain recreational data on stakeholders is revision of accountability measures.
At their March 2018 meeting, the Council directed staff to begin development of an amendment that would revise recreational accountability measures to allow more flexibility in managing recreational fisheries. The Council reviewed some preliminary actions/alternatives and decided that this Recreational Accountability Measures Amendment would apply only to the snapper grouper and dolphin wahoo Fishery Management Plans.
In January of 2018, scoping sessions occurred to gather input from stakeholders. The Council reviewed scoping comments and continued development of the amendment at the March 2019 meeting. The Council later decided to move the dolphin and wahoo actions to Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10 and will continue to develop modifications to recreational accountability measure for the snapper grouper fishery in Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 31.
The Council reviewed draft actions/alternatives at the December 2019 meeting. The Council intends to pause future work on Regulatory Amendment 31 until December 2020 when more will be known about how MRIP revisions will affect Annual Catch Limit and allocation revisions.
During the Council’s Recreational Topics Webinar on November 9, 2020, the Council decided to suspend work on the amendment and await recommendations from a Joint Workgroup addressing Section 102 of the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018.