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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

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Marine Fisheries - FB11-097 NOAA Fisheries Service Seeks Public Comment

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252 726-7021
Date: Dec. 23, 2011

N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee to Meet

MOREHEAD CITY; The N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will meet Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.

A meeting agenda is attached.

For more information, contact division biologist Lynn Henry at 252-264-3911, 800-405-7774 or Lynn.Henry@ncdenr.gov, or call the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission office at 252-808-8022.


Release: Immediate
Contact: Rick DeVictor
Phone: 727-824-5305, FAX 727-824-5308
Email: Rick.DeVictor@noaa.gov
Date: Dec. 21, 2011

Reminder of Seasonal Closure for Shallow Water Grouper
in the South Atlantic

Closure Begins January 1, 2012

A seasonal prohibition on the harvest of shallow water snapper-grouper species in federal waters of the South Atlantic will be effective 12:01 a.m. January 1, 2012, through April 30, 2012, and applies to recreational and commercial harvest of shallow water grouper species.  During this time, no gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, and tiger grouper may be harvested, possessed, sold or purchased. The closure also applies to shallow water grouper taken in South Atlantic state waters by any person on board a vessel holding a federal snapper-grouper permit, including a South Atlantic Charter/Headboat permit for Snapper-Grouper.

This seasonal closure is part of a suite of management measures contained in Amendment 16 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, which became effective on July 29, 2009.

Fishermen should contact their state agencies to inquire about compatible regulations in state waters.

The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to shallow water grouper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2012, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

The shallow water grouper closure in the South Atlantic complies with regulations implementing the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region and is necessary to protect snapper-grouper species made more vulnerable during spawning season.

More Information
For more information on this and other actions implemented through Amendment 16, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for Amendment 16, or the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Web page at: www.safmc.net

 


Release: Immediate
Contact: Rick DeVictor
Phone: 727-824-5305, FAX 727-824-5308 
Email: Rick.DeVictor@noaa.gov
Date: Dec. 20, 2011

NOAA Seeks Comments on a Proposed Rule to Eliminate the 240-Foot (40-Fathom) Snapper-Grouper Area Closure in the South Atlantic

Comment Period Ends January 19, 2012


NOAA Fisheries Service is seeking public comment on a proposed rule for Regulatory Amendment 11 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 11). Regulatory Amendment 11 would eliminate the 240-foot (40-fathom) closure previously approved in Amendment 17B to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 17B). The proposed rule published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2011, with the comment period ending January 19, 2012.

The 240-foot (40-fathom) closure, implemented on January 31, 2011, prohibited the possession of six deepwater snapper-grouper species (snowy grouper, blueline tilefish, yellowedge grouper, misty grouper, queen snapper, and silk snapper) in or from the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone in depths greater than 240-feet (40-fathoms). The purpose of the 240-foot (40-fathom) closure approved in Amendment 17B is to reduce discards of speckled hind and warsaw grouper. However, recent data analyses suggest speckled hind and warsaw grouper rarely co-occur with snowy grouper, blueline tilefish, yellowedge grouper, misty grouper, queen snapper, or silk snapper. The purpose of the removal of the prohibition in Regulatory Amendment 11 is to reduce the socio-economic effects expected from the regulations in Amendment 17B while maintaining the biological protection to speckled hind and warsaw grouper in the South Atlantic.

The decision to eliminate the snapper-grouper area closure through Regulatory Amendment 11 would not affect the prohibition on harvest and possession of speckled hind and warsaw grouper in the South Atlantic. It remains unlawful to harvest or possess speckled hind and warsaw grouper.

Request for Comments
Comments on this proposed rule must be received no later than January 19, 2012, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries Service. See the Addresses section for information on where and how to submit comments.

Addresses
Electronic copies of Regulatory Amendment 11/proposed rule may be obtained from the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Web site at http://www.safmc.net, or
NOAA Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
 
You may submit comments by the following methods:
Electronic Submission:
Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (select “Submit Comment,” then type in NOAA-NMFS-2011-0209 in the “Keyword or ID” box). All comments received are part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change.

Mail: 
NOAA Fisheries Service 
Southeast Regional Office 
Sustainable Fisheries Division 
c/o Rick DeVictor
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Fax: 727-824-5308, Attention: Rick DeVictor

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

More information, including Frequently Asked Questions for Regulatory Amendment 11 can 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


Release: Immediate
Contact: Kate Michie
Phone: 727 824-5305, FAX 727 824-5308
Email: Kate.Michie@noaa.gov
Date: Dec. 9, 2011

 

NOAA Fisheries Service Requests Public Comments on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Actions to Limit Commercial Effort for South Atlantic Black Sea Bass

(Comment Period Ends January 23, 2012)

NOAA Fisheries Service requests public comments on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 18A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 18A). The Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which outlines potential biological and socioeconomic impacts of the actions in Amendment 18A, is now available for public review and comment. The primary purpose of Amendment 18A is to reduce effort in the black sea bass component of the snapper-grouper fishery to address the continued shortening of fishing seasons caused by derby fishing conditions.

Actions in Amendment 18A consider:

  •  Updates to the acceptable biological catch and annual catch limits for black sea bass based on a new stock assessment.
  • An endorsement program for the commercial sectors’ black sea bass pot segment of the snapper-grouper fishery. Endorsement holders who meet certain landings criteria and also have a valid (not expired) Unlimited Snapper-Grouper Permit would be allowed to use pot gear to harvest black sea bass.
  • An appeals process for the black sea bass pot endorsement and endorsement transferability requirements.
  • Modifications to accountability measures.
  • A limit on the number of black sea bass pot tags that can be issued to endorsement holders with valid Unlimited Snapper Grouper Permits.
  • A requirement to bring black sea bass pots back to shore at the end of each trip.
  • A trip limit for the black sea bass commercial sector.
  • A black sea bass spawning season closure.
  • Modifications to commercial and recreational size limits for black sea bass.
  • Improvements to data reporting on commercial and federally-permitted for-hire snapper-grouper vessels.

Request for Comments
Comments on this Draft Environmental Impact Statement must be received no later than January 23, 2012, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries Service. See the Addresses section for information on where and how to submit comments.

Addresses
Electronic or hardcopies of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement may be obtained from:

To request a CD of the draft environmental impact statement contact:
NOAA Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 824-5305

You may submit comments by the following methods:

Electronic Submission: The Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (select “Submit Comment”, then type in NOAA-NMFS-2011-0282 in the “Keyword or ID” box). All comments received are part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change.

Mail: NOAA Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
c/o Kate Michie
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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

More Information
For more information on Amendment 18A please refer to the Amendment 18A Frequently Asked Questions or the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Web page at: www.safmc.net.
National Marine Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office, F/SER25
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

 

 

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