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Option b.  For vessels less than 60 feet in length no more than 2 trawls, excluding a single try net not exceeding 20 feet in head rope length, may be in use while trawling for shrimp in the EEZ inside of 100 fathoms, and each such net shall not exceed:

SubOption a.  60 feet in head rope length

SubOption b.  50 feet in head rope length

SubOption c.  40 feet in head rope length

Discussion:  Reducing the allowable amount of trawl gear and/or trawl size may reduce bycatch if it is sufficient to effectively reduce effort.  Recent data suggest that there is excess effort in this fishery; consequently, the gear modifications would have to be sufficient to remove this excess effort.  On the other hand, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita may have significantly reduced fishing effort in the EEZ; however to what level is currently unknown.  Additionally, if shrimp vessels are able to simply trawl longer with reduced amounts of gear, they could effectively negate any perceived bycatch reduction.

Alternative 4.  Further reduce bycatch by establishing a bycatch quota for the penaeid shrimp fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico

Seasonal Bycatch Quota Alternatives

Option a.  Establish a bycatch quota for the summer brown shrimp season (May 1 - August 31 of each year) and prohibit shrimp trawling in the EEZ once 75%, 85%, or 95% of the target average estimate of bycatch during this period has been taken during any given year

Option b. Establish a bycatch quota for the fall white shrimp season (September 1 - November 30 of each year) and prohibit shrimp trawling in the EEZ once 75%, 85%, or 95% of the target average estimate of bycatch during this period has been taken during any given year  

Option c. Establish a bycatch quota for the winter and spring pink shrimp season (December 1 - April 30 of each year) and prohibit shrimp trawling in the EEZ once 75%, 85%, or 95% of the target average estimate of bycatch during this period has been taken during any given year

Area Bycatch Quota Actions

Option d. Establish a bycatch quota by statistical subzone or combinations of subzones and prohibit shrimp trawling in the EEZ of such zones or subzones once 75%, 85%, or 95% of the target average estimate of bycatch from each zone or subzone has been taken during any given year

Option e.  Establish a bycatch quota by state (extending state lines by longitude to the limits of the EEZ) and prohibit shrimp trawling in the EEZ off such states once 75%, 85%, or 95% of the target average estimate of bycatch from a given state has been taken during any given year

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