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maintain MSY, and does not allow OY to exceed MSY.

Amendment 9, supported by a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and implemented in 1998, required the use of a NMFS certified bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) in shrimp trawls used in the EEZ from Cape San Blas, Florida (85̊30' W. Longitude) to the Texas/Mexico border, and provided for the certification of the Fisheye BRD in the 30 mesh position.  The purpose of this action was to reduce the bycatch mortality of juvenile red snapper by 44% from the average mortality for the years 1984-89 (F=2.06).  This amendment exempted shrimp trawls fishing for royal red shrimp outside of 100 fathoms, as well as groundfish and butterfish trawls.  It also excluded small try nets and no more than two ridged frame roller trawls that do not exceed 16 feet.  Amendment 9 also provided mechanisms to change the bycatch reduction criterion and to certify additional BRDs.

Amendment 10/EA, approved in 2004, required BRDs in shrimp trawls used in the Gulf east of Cape San Blas, Florida (85̊30' W. Longitude).  Certified BRDs for this area are required to demonstrate a 30% reduction by weight of finfish.

Amendment 11/EA, which was fully implemented in December 2002, required owners and operators of all vessels harvesting shrimp from the EEZ of the Gulf to obtain a federal commercial vessel permit.  This amendment also prohibited the use of traps to harvest royal red shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico and to transfer royal red shrimp at sea.

Amendment 12/EA, was included as part of the Generic Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Amendment that established EFH for shrimp in the Gulf.

Amendment 13/EA, which is currently under review by NMFS would establish an endorsement to the existing federal shrimp vessel permit for vessels harvesting royal red shrimp; define the overfishing threshold and the overfished condition for royal red; define maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and optimum yield (OY) for the penaeid shrimp stocks in the Gulf; establish bycatch reporting methodologies and improve collection of shrimping effort data in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ); require completion of a Gulf Shrimp Vessel and Gear Characterization Form; establish a moratorium on the issuance of commercial shrimp vessel permits; and require reporting and certification of landings during the moratorium.


Action 1.  Alternatives to Further Reduce Bycatch in the Penaeid Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico

Alternative 1.  No action - Do not establish additional measures to further reduce bycatch in the shrimp fishery but retain the current requirements for the use of bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) in shrimp trawls in the EEZ in accordance with existing regulations

Alternative 2.  Further reduce bycatch by restricting fishing by time/area or season

Option a.  Add or expand closed seasons to shrimping in the EEZ


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