Red Snapper 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 will work 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,, Daniel Goethel (NOAA), Matthew Smith (NOAA), and Stuart Carlton (Texas Sea Grant)

Technical Monitor: John Froeschke (

Federal Program Officer/Point of Contact: Frank Parker (

This project began in June 2017 and will end in May 2020.

Award Amount: $528,945

Why we care: 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 we are 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 improve understanding of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery and quantify the risks and tradeoffs among different management strategies and regulations. This tool and its modeling framework can be easily adapted to other Gulf of Mexico fisheries.

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