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H.R. 3094 (114th): Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 16, 2015.


Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority Act

This bill amends the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to direct the Department of Commerce to establish a Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority (GSRSMA) that consists of the principal fisheries manager of each of the five Gulf of Mexico coastal states: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The GSRSMA must:

establish a deadline for each Gulf coastal state to submit to the GSRSMA a fishery management plan for the long-term sustainability of Gulf of Mexico red snapper, review those plans and approve them if they meet the requirements of this bill, provide standards for each Gulf coastal state to use in developing fishery management measures to sustainably manage the Gulf of Mexico red snapper in the coastal waters adjacent to the state, and provide an opportunity for public participation before approving a plan. For three years, Commerce must continue to manage the commercial sector of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery in coordination with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

The bill establishes a plan certification process. After the three-year period and once a plan is certified, Commerce must transfer management of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper to the GSRSMA. Each Gulf coastal state must then implement and enforce approved plans for the fishery in the coastal waters adjacent to it.

If the Gulf of Mexico red snapper in the coastal waters adjacent to a Gulf coastal state is experiencing overfishing or is subject to a rebuilding plan, the state must certify to the GSRSMA that it has implemented the necessary measures to end overfishing or rebuild the fishery and has implemented a harvest monitoring program. A process is established for closing a red snapper fishery within the waters adjacent to the state territorial waters of the Gulf coastal state if those measures have not been implemented.

Commerce must provide all federal funding to the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission for all necessary stock assessments, research, and management for the red snapper fishery. The Commission shall be responsible for administering federal funds to each of the Gulf coastal states for management of the fishery.