2013 fall red snapper season now uncertain
NOAA says final determination to be made 'over the next couple of weeks'
Preliminary catch estimates were significantly higher than expected for the 2013 recreational red snapper season, according to a press release from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
A new methodology was used to estimate the catch this year, which may at least partially account for the higher estimates, the release states.
In July, the council voted to increase the total quota from 8.46 million pounds to 11 million pounds, of which 5.39 million pounds would be the recreational quota, according to the council. The other 5.61 million pounds is the commercial quota.
News reports indicate that the new data estimates more than 6 million pounds were already caught recreationally, not including catch figures from Texas.
The National Marine Fisheries System determined in July that any unused recreational quota could be met in up to a 21-day fall season that would start on Oct. 1.
According to the release, NOAA Fisheries will calibrate the new estimates with the old methodology before making a final determination on if there will be a fall recreational season.
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