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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives Dec 2013

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FB13-106
727-824-5305
December 20, 2013

NOAA is Seeking Public Comments on Modifications to the Current Federally Permitted Seafood Dealer Reporting Requirements

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on an amendment that would change dealer reporting requirements in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic regions. The biggest change addresses the amount of time a dealer has to report a purchase. Dealers would have one week versus the current two weeks to submit purchase forms. The Notice of Availability published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2013 (78 FR 76808). The comment period ends on February 18, 2014.

Purpose of the Amendment:

(1) Establishes a new single dealer permit that would be required to purchase products managed in the fishery management plans listed below.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Plans
Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources
Golden Crab Fishery of the South Atlantic Region
Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic Region
Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic
Spiny Lobster of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Plans
Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources
Red Drum Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico
Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico

Atlantic Fishery Management Plans
Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources
Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic
(2) Purchase forms would be submitted online, once per week. Forms would be due 11:59 p.m., local time, every Tuesday.

(3) Dealers reporting purchases of king mackerel landed by the gillnet sector for the Gulf West Coast Florida Southern Sub-Zone would be required to submit forms daily by 6:00 a.m.

(4) If no purchase is made, a no-purchase report must also be submitted online, once per week.

(5) Delinquent reports automatically result in Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic dealers becoming ineligible to receive the specified federally managed species regardless of any notification by NOAA Fisheries. A dealer would only be authorized to receive the specified federally managed species if the dealer's previous reports have been submitted and received by NOAA Fisheries.

This action will improve the completeness and timeliness of purchase information. Many commercial fisheries close when landings are projected to reach the commercial annual catch limits. The action would require federally permitted dealers to obtain the new dealer permit and submit purchase forms electronically, once per week. The existing reporting frequency reduces the precision of the projections, often resulting in landings significantly less or greater than the annual catch limits.

In implementing this amendment , NOAA Fisheries intends to use an effective date four months after the date of publication of the final rule (which will mean four months before permits and reporting are required), but not require those entities who already have dealer permits to submit an application for the new generic permit until their current permit comes up for renewal, even if it is well after the effective date.

However, new dealers should be sure to submit an application at least 30 days prior to the date they need the permit issued.

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 proposed rule may be obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Web site: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/generic/2013/dealer_reporting/index.html

For more information on the Generic Amendment for Seafood Dealers Reporting Requirements refer to the Frequently Asked Questionson the NOAA Fisheries Web site. This summary is not a substitute for the actual regulations. We encourage you to read the full text of the regulations, available at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.


Release: Immediate
Date: Dec. 20, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Public Comment Sought on Draft Amendments, Supplement to
Fishery Management Plans

MOREHEAD CITY — Fishermen will get a chance to comment on the future management of several marine fisheries species at a series of public meetings to be held in the coming weeks.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will hold five meetings to receive public comments on draft amendments to the N.C. Shrimp Fishery Management Plan, the N.C. Bay Scallop Fishery Management Plan and the N.C. River Herring Fishery Management Plan.

The meetings will be held in conjunction with Marine Fisheries Commission advisory committee meetings. Different advisory committees will review different plans, according to their focus areas. The meetings are scheduled for:

Jan. 8 at 6 p.m.
Southern Advisory Committee
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Central District Office
5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City
(Shrimp, Bay Scallop, River Herring)
Contact: Chip Collier
Phone: 910-796-7215
Email: Chip.Collier@ncdenr.gov

Jan. 13 at 1:30 p.m.
Habitat and Water Quality Advisory Committee
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
943 Washington Square Mall, Washington
(Shrimp, Bay Scallop, River Herring)
Contact: Anne Deaton
Phone: 901-796-7215
Email: Anne.Deaton@ncdenr.gov

Jan. 8 at 6 p.m.
Southern Advisory Committee (webcast)
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
127 Cardinal Dr., Wilmington
The public may watch this meeting and give public comment through a live webcast at this location.

Jan. 14 at 10:30 a.m.
Finfish Advisory Committee
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Central District Office
5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City
(Shrimp, River Herring)
Contact: Kathy Rawls
Phone: 252-264-3911
Email: Kathy.Rawls@ncdenr.gov

Jan. 9 at 6 p.m.
Northern Advisory Committee
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
943 Washington Square Mall, Washington
(Shrimp, Bay Scallop, River Herring)
Contact: Kathy Rawls
Phone: 252-264-3911
Email: Kathy.Rawls@ncdenr.gov

Jan. 16 at 6 p.m.
Shellfish/Crustacean Advisory Committee
Craven County Agricultural Extension Building
300 Industrial Drive, New Bern
(Shrimp, Bay Scallop)
Contact: Mike Marshall
Phone: 252-808-8077
Email: Mike.Marshall@ncdenr.gov

The draft amendment to the shrimp plan includes proposals for industry testing of bycatch reduction devices, updating testing protocols for the state bycatch reduction device certification program and requiring additional bycatch reduction devices in all shrimp trawl nets. View the draft shrimp plan amendment at http://tinyurl.com/ncshrimpdraftamend1.

The draft amendment to the bay scallop plan includes proposals to manage waters south of Bogue Sound as a separate unit from Bogue Sound (currently waters south of Bogue Sound open based on sampling in Bogue Sound) and to modify commercial harvest limits. View the draft bay scallop plan amendment at http://tinyurl.com/ncbayscallopdraftamend2.

The draft amendment to the river herring plan includes proposals to eliminate the discretionary harvest season and to implement a rule in joint and coastal waters to prohibit the possession of river herring greater than six inches while fishing or boating, as well as remove alewifes and blueback herring from the mutilated finish rule. This would complement the August 2013 rule enacted by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission in inland waters. View the draft river herring plan amendment at http://tinyurl.com/ncriverherringdraftamend2.

Division staff will present an overview of the draft amendments prior to public comment.

In addition, the commission will accept public comment at these meetings on a draft supplement to the N.C. Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan. However, staff will not present an overview of the draft supplement. The draft supplement provides the commission with alternatives to stricter commercial and recreational spotted seatrout fishing regulations set to begin in February. View the revised Spotted Seatrout Plan supplement at http://tinyurl.com/ncspottedseatroutsupplementA.

For more information, Catherine Blum, division fishery management plan coordinator, at 252-808-8014 or Catherine.Blum@ncdenr.gov.

nr-63-13


Release: Immediate
Date: Dec. 18, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Recreational Black Sea Bass Season North of Cape Hatteras to Close

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is reminding fishermen that the recreational season for black sea bass closes north of Cape Hatteras at midnight Dec. 31.

The closure complies with regulations implemented by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the MidAtlantic Fishery Management Council through the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fisheries Management Plan.

The 2014 recreational management measures for black sea bass will be established later this winter.

The closure was implemented by Proclamation FF-24-2013, released on April 8. The proclamation can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

For more information, contact Chris Batsavage with the Division of Marine Fisheries at 252-808-8009 or Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov.

nr-62-13


Release: Immediate
Date: Dec. 18, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

New Black Drum Harvest Limits Take Effect Jan. 1

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C Division of Marine Fisheries is reminding fishermen that new harvest limits on black drum will take effect New Year’s Day.

Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, issued a proclamation today that implements the following regulations Jan. 1:

  • 14- to 25-inch total length slot size limit (except one fish longer than 25 inches total length may be kept)
  • 10-fish recreational bag limit
  • 500-pound commercial trip limit

For specific requirements, see Proclamation FF-73-2013 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

An Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan requires states to implement black drum possession limits and a minimum size limit of at least 12 inches by Jan. 1, 2014 and at least 14 inches by Jan. 1, 2016.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted at its November business meeting to implement the more restrictive size limit to avoid confusion of another change in two years.

For more information, contact Chris Stewart in the division’s Wilmington office, at 910-796-7370 or Chris.Stewart@ncdenr.gov.

nr-61-2013

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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