NOAA Fisheries has determined that several annual catch limits were exceeded during 2010 and/or 2011, triggering accountability measures to reduce the length of the season in the 2013 fishing year by the amount necessary to ensure landings do not exceed the 2013 catch limits.
Therefore, the 2013 fishing season for the following groups will be reduced in length and will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on the dates specified below until 12:01 a.m., local time, 1 January 2014:
- Snapper Unit 2 (commercial) in the federal waters off Puerto Rico, September 21, 2013;
- Wrasses (recreational) in the federal waters off Puerto Rico, October 21, 2013;
- Triggerfish and filefish (commercial and recreational) in the federal waters off St. Croix, November 21, 2013;
- Spiny lobster (commercial and recreational) in the federal waters off St. Croix, December 19, 2013;
- Groupers (commercial and recreational) in the federal waters off St. Thomas/St. John, December 20, 2013.
This action is implemented under the regulations for the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the FMP for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.