skip to main content | skip to footer
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - FB11-097 NOAA Fisheries Service Seeks Public Comment

Marine Fisheries

Web Content Display Web Content Display

News Release Archives - Dec. 2011


Release: Immediate
Contact: Rick DeVictor
Email: Rick.DeVictor@noaa.gov
Phone: 727 824-5305, FAX 727 824-5308
Date: Dec. 30, 2011

NOAA Seeks Comments on an Amended Proposed Rule to Change the Wreckfish Annual Catch Limit to 235,000 Pounds Whole Weight in the South Atlantic


NOAA Fisheries Service is seeking public comment on an amended proposed rule to modify the proposed rule for the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment. The amended proposed rule published in the Federal Register (76 FR 82264) on December 30, 2011, with the comment period ending January 17, 2012.

The proposed rule for the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment published on December 1, 2011 (76 FR 74757), with a comment period ending December 19, 2011. The proposed rule contains a provision to specify the annual catch limit for wreckfish equal to the acceptable biological catch. This equates to an annual catch limit of 250,000 pounds whole weight. The commercial and recreational annual catch limits wouthis annual catch limit is not currently in place). The amended proposed rule would equal 237,500 and 12,500 pounds whole weight, respectively. (Note that would change the annual catch limit value to 235,000 pounds whole weight. The amended proposed rule would also change the commercial and recreational annual catch limits to 223,250 and 11,750 pounds whole weight, respectively.

The annual catch limit would be revised because the acceptable biological catch specification for wreckfish was changed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee at their November 2011 meeting. The change was based upon a new analysis of the wreckfish population presented at the meeting. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council reviewed the catch recommendation in December 2011 and passed a motion to concur with the process of adjusting the proposed wreckfish annual catch limit to reflect the acceptable biological catch value of 235,000 pounds whole weight.

Request for Comments
Comments on this amended proposed rule must be received no later than January 17, 2012, in order to be considered by NOAA Fisheries Service. See the Addresses section for information on where and how to submit comments.

Addresses
Electronic copies of the amended proposed rule may be obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Service website: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/SAACLAmend.htm, or the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal:http://www.regulations.gov

You may submit comments by the following method:

Federal e-Rulemaking Portal:

http://www.regulations.gov After selecting “submit a comment,” enter the following docket number into the “Search” box: NOAA-NMFS-2011-0087.  All comments received are part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NOAA Fisheries Service will accept anonymous comments. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

More information, including Frequently Asked Questions for the amended proposed rule, may be found online at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov

If you would like to receive these fishery bulletins via email as soon as they are published, please notify us at:sero.communications.comments@noaa.gov

FB11-109

 


Release: Immediate
Contact: Karla Gore
Email: Karla.Gore@noaa.gov
Phone: 727 824-5305, FAX 727 824-5308
Date: Dec. 30, 2011

NOAA Fisheries Service Publishes Final Rule to Implement the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2

NOAA Fisheries Service published a final rule in the Federal Register to implement the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2 (CE-BA 2) on December 30, 2011 (76 FR 82183). Regulations will be effective on January 30, 2012. The proposed rule published in the Federal Register on November 8, 2011 (76 FR 69230), with a comment period ending on November 25, 2011.

CE-BA 2 modifies management of octocorals; modifies management in the special management zones off South Carolina; modifies sea turtle release gear requirements for snapper-grouper fishermen; and designates essential fish habitat and essential fish habitat-habitat areas of particular concern.

Octocoral Management 
CE-BA 2 modifies management of octocorals by removing octocorals off Florida from the fishery management unit.  As such, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will manage octocorals in the exclusive economic zone off North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The annual catch limit for octocorals off North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia is zero.

Special Management Zones off South Carolina

As a result of this final rule, harvest and possession of snapper-grouper and coastal migratory pelagic species in special management zones off South Carolina will be limited to the recreational bag limit.

Sea Turtle Release Gear Requirements
CE-BA 2 modifies the sea turtle release gear requirements for the snapper-grouper fishery by requiring different gear for vessels with different freeboard heights. Vessels with a freeboard height of less than four feet will be required to have a reduced suite of sea turtle release gear compared to vessels with a freeboard height of four feet or greater.
 
Essential Fish Habitat-Habitat Areas of Particular Concern
CE-BA 2 designates additional essential fish habitat for Sargassum and snapper-grouper species. CE-BA 2 also designates additional essential fish habitat-habitat areas of particular concern for coral and snapper-grouper species. These designations do not result in new regulations for these fisheries but require that future non-fishing activities in the areas be subject to review and consultation.

Addresses
Copies of the amendment/final rule may be obtained from the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Web site athttp://www.safmc.net,

NOAA Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

FB11-108


Release: Immediate
Contact: Susan Gerhart
Email: susan.gerhart@noaa.gov
Phone: 727 824-5305, FAX 727 824-5308
Date: Dec. 29, 2011

NOAA Announces New Regulations for King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel and Cobia in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic

Small Entity Compliance Guide

On December 15, 2011, NOAA Fisheries Service approved Amendment 18 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic.  A final rule implementing these regulations published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2011 (76 FR 82058).  The fishery management plan is jointly managed by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (Councils).  

NOAA Fisheries Service and the Councils developed Amendment 18 to address new requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which requires establishing the following for most federally managed stocks: 

  • Annual catch limits, the highest level of landings that is acceptable to maintain the stock, are required for most federally managed species.   
  • Annual catch targets, acceptable levels of landings that provide a buffer for management uncertainty, are optional. 
  • Accountability measures, which help keep landings within the catch limits or catch targets, or make adjustments if those levels are exceeded, are also required. 

The final rule makes the following changes to the fishery management plan: 

  • Removes four species (cero, little tunny, dolphin, and Gulf of Mexico bluefish) from the fishery management plan. 
  • Establishes annual catch limits, annual catch targets, and accountability measures for king mackerel,Spanish mackerel, and cobia. 
  • Establishes separate migratory groups for cobia. 
  • Revises the framework procedure, which allows for more timely implementation of routine regulatory changes. 

In addition, the amendment contains non-regulatory actions to revise thresholds used to determine the status of the stock, such as overfishing (rate of removal is too high) and overfished (population abundance is too low).  The Councils also established an acceptable biological catch control rule and set allocations for Atlantic group cobia. 

Changes from the Proposed Rule 
When finalizing the Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel commercial quota, NOAA Fisheries Service realized the adjusted commercial quota also needed to be revised.  The adjusted commercial quota is relevant to trip limit reductions for the commercial sector.  In this final rule, the adjusted quota is revised from 3.63 million pounds to 2.88 million pounds as a result of the change in the commercial quota from 3.87 million pounds to 3.13 million pounds.   

Although the intent of the adjusted quota is to allow continued harvest after the 2.88 million pound adjusted quota is reached, total harvest for the fishing year still must be restricted to the annual catch limit.  This means that if the entire commercial quota of 3.13 million pounds is reached or projected to be reached, the commercial sector will close for the remainder of the fishing year.  

Request for Comments 
Because the change to the adjusted commercial quota for Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel was not available for comment during the proposed rule stage, NOAA Fisheries Service is soliciting comments on the adjusted quota portion of the rule only.  Written comments must be received no later than January 30, 2012, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries Service.  See the Addresses section for information on where and how to submit comments. 

Addresses
Copies of the rule and Amendment 18 may be obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Service Web site http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/MackerelHomepage.htm or the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov

You may submit comments by any of the following methods: 

Electronic Submissions:
Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov.  All comments received are part of the public record and will generally be posted to www.regulations.gov without change.  All personal identifying information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible.  Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.  NOAA Fisheries Service will accept anonymous comments.   

To submit comments through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal:
www.regulations.gov , click on "submit a comment," then enter "NOAA-NMFS-2011-0202" in the keyword search and click on "search."  To view posted comments during the comment period, enter "NOAA-NMFS-2011-0202" in the keyword search and click on "search."  You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. 

Mail:
Susan Gerhart
NOAA Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office, Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5505 

Comments received through means not specified in this bulletin will not be considered.   

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. 

Electronic copies of the amendment and final rule may be obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Service Web site http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/MackerelHomepage.htm. For more information on Amendment 18 please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions on the NOAA Fisheries Service Web site. 

This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the existing regulations.  Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the regulations as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register. 

If you would like to receive these fishery bulletins via email as soon as they are published, email us at: SERO.Communications.Comments@noaa.gov

FB11-105 

 

Pages: 1  2  3  4  

38337 FEEDBACK

Your input is valuable to us. Please send us your feedback.

What type of feedback would you like to send?*

Ask a Question Report a Problem Have a Concern Make a Comment

(If you would like us to respond please include your phone or e-mail.)

Your Question has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Problem has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Concern has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Comment has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

*If you are a DENR employee with an I.T. issue, please submit a DOTS ticket.