Red Snapper Management Tool

Full Title: A decision support tool for evaluating the impacts of short- and long-term management decisions on the Gulf of Mexico red snapper resource

This project works with fishery managers to develop a decision-support tool to assess the effectiveness of different long-term management strategies and short-term management regulations for the red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Team: Yuying Zhang (Lead Investigator, Florida International University, yzhang13@fiu.edu), Daniel Goethel (NOAA), Matthew Smith (NOAA), Laura Picariello (Texas Sea Grant), and Doug Chen (Florida International University)

Technical Monitor: John Froeschke (john.froeschke@gulfcouncil.org)

Federal Program Officer/Point of Contact: Frank Parker (frank.parker@noaa.gov)

This project began in June 2017 and will end in May 2022.

Award Amount: $528,945

Why it matters: The management of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico has been challenging and recent stock assessment reports have stated the need for a management strategy evaluation tool. This tool is needed to test the effectiveness of different long-term management strategies and short-term management regulations to meet the goals for the fishery.

What the team is doing: This project will develop such a tool in three stages. In stage one, a computer model of the fishery and all its components, which includes information from the current stock assessment and snapper management plan, will be developed and validated to serve as the foundation of the tool. In stage two, the tool development team will conduct extensive simulations using the model to evaluate its performance in assessing various management strategies, such as long-term harvest control and short-term regulations. Throughout the development of the tool, the team will seek input and recommendations for the group of expected end-users, including the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council and various state and federal agencies. In stage three, the development team will work with these end-users to construct the graphical user interface and conduct outreach and promotion of the tool with stakeholders.

Expected Outcome: This decision-support tool will provide a platform to help stakeholders with different levels of Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery management by improving their understanding of the fishery status and quantifying the risks and tradeoffs among various management strategies and regulations. This tool and its modeling framework can be easily adapted to other species in the Gulf of Mexico or other regions.