FB16-058: Notice of Availability for Public Comments on an Amendment to Extend Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Recreational Sector Separation Provisions

 

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Red Snapper Illustration by Diane Rome Peebles

NOAA Fisheries seeks public comment on an amendment that would extend the 2017 sunset provision by five years for the recreational red snapper sector separation regulation.

 

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 45 to NOAA Fisheries for review, approval, and implementation. The Notice of Availabilityfor public comment on this amendment published in the Federal Register on August 25, 2016.

 

Please Note: This bulletin only summarizes the proposed actions and their effects. NOAA Fisheries encourages constituents to access Amendment 45 for more information at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2016/am45/index.html.

 

Purpose of the Amendment 45

If approved by NOAA Fisheries, Amendment 45 would extend the sector separation provisions for the recreational sector fishing for red snapper for an additional five years. This extension is needed to give the Council additional time to complete the development and implementation of actions to address charter vessel and headboat fishing.

 

History

The sector separation provisions were implemented in May 2016 through Amendment 40. Provisions included sub-quotas, annual catch targets, and accountability measures for the federal for-hire and private angling components of the recreational sector fishing for red snapper. The purpose of Amendment 40 was to increase flexibility in future management of the recreational sector fishing for red snapper and reduce the chance for recreational red snapper quota overruns. A sunset provision had these provisions ending December 31, 2017. For more information on Amendment 40, see

http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2013/am40/index.html.

Current Proposed Management Measures

Amendment 45 would extend the sunset provision from the end of the 2017 fishing year (December 31, 2017) to the end of the 2022 fishing year (December 31, 2022).

 

How to Submit Comments

NOAA Fisheries must receive comments on this notice no later than October 24, 2016. We will address all comments specifically directed to Amendment 45 or the subsequent proposed rule in the final rule. You may obtain electronic copies of Amendment 45 from the NOAA Fisheries Web site:

http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2016/am45/index.html or the e-Rulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov.

 

You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0089, by any of the following methods:

Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to

http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0089, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

 

Mail: Submit written comments to Peter Hood, NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505.

 

Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All

personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

 

 

 

Lagniappe — August 2016

lagniappe

Not Such an Unusual Site

 

Previously thought to be wayward travelers in the northern Gulf of Mexico outside of Florida, West Indian manatees (Trichehcus manatus) are now spotted with increasing frequency from Alabama through eastern Texas. Manatees typically inhabit northern Gulf of Mexico waters from mid-May through mid-November when temperatures are warmest.

 

Read more…

 

 

Modified Rules for Commercial Harvest of Blue Crabs

 

A Notice of Intent (NOI) is under consideration to enact commercial blue crab harvest restrictions in order to reduce fishing pressure on the blue crab stock. The NOI restricts the commercial harvest of immature blue female crabs except those being held for processing of softshell crabs. It also establishes a 30-day closure of the blue commercial harvest and the use of crab traps beginning the third Monday of February. Both management actions would go into effect in 2017 and last through 2019.

 

Read more…

 

 

Louisiana Fisheries Forward Crab Professionalism Program Reopens

 

The Louisiana Fisheries Forward (LFF) Crab Professionalism Program will reopen July 1, 2016, allowing commercial fishermen to obtain a new, commercial crab trap gear license. The LFF Crab Professionalism Program was designed to provide Louisiana crabfishermen with the knowledge and tools needed to compete in today’s local, national and global economy.

 

Read more…

 

 

More articles in this month’s edition of Lagniappe:

 

  • Commercial Fishing Tax Exemption
  • Nassau Grouper Listed as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act
  • Recreational Gray Triggerfish and Greater Amberjack
  • Fish Gear Coordinates- June 2016
  • Important Dates & Upcoming Events
  • Louisiana Shrimp Watch
  • The Gumbo Pot – Seafood Lasagna

 

View full August 2016 edition of Lagniappe

 

 

 

Past copies of Lagniappe Fisheries newsletter are available online at:

www.seagrantfish.lsu.edu/resources/lagniappe/2016.htm

Shrimp Watch- July 2016

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Louisiana specific data portrayed in the graphics are selected from preliminary data posted by NOAA on their website. All data portrayed are subject to final revision and approval by NOAA.  Shrimp landings are ex-vessel prices, inclusive of all species harvested. Missing, inadequate or withheld reports are portrayed as “zero” in these graphics. Price graphics reflect central Gulf states only (Texas and Florida are reported independently). For more information, please refer to: www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/market_news/index.html.

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The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council awarded the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award to Sergeant Nicholas Guillory

Officer

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council awarded the 2015 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award to Sergeant Nicholas Guillory with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division. Sergeant Guillory was presented the prestigious award by Council Chairman Kevin Anson of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

 

“Presenting the Gulf Council’s first ever Officer of the Year award is an honor and a privilege,” said Anson. “Thank you, Sergeant Guillory, for your hard work and dedication.”

 

The Council’s Officer of the Year award acknowledges service above and beyond duty requirements and recognizes distinguished service, professionalism, and dedication to enforcing federal fishing regulations in the Gulf of Mexico. Nominees may be submitted from each of the five Gulf State Law Enforcement agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard, and NOAA Fisheries’ Office for Law Enforcement.

 

Sergeant Guillory began his career with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in 2008. Within three short years, he was promoted to Sergeant due, in part, to his dedication and commitment. In 2015, he recorded 444 hours of patrol, enforcing Federal fish regulations in the Gulf of Mexico andissued 29 citations.

 

Most notable of Sergeant Guillory’s efforts this past year include his actions during a stormy day in September. He received a call that a vessel was caught in the storm and taking on water. As he made his way out to the vessel, he came across a man stuck in waist-deep muck and pulled him aboard his boat. Minutes later, Guillory saw a different boat also taking on water and quickly rescued those passengers as well. He took the three passengers to safety, along with the sinking boat, and headed back out to find the original people in need of help, but before he could get to them, he came across two more vessels in need of help. By the end of the day, Sergeant Guillory rescued eight people and safely recovered three vessels.

 

“Sergeant Guillory is a professional in everything he does. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division is proud to have him as an Agent,” said Captain Chad Hebert, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division.

Technology Oil Spill Seminar

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The Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program is excited to announce our latest seminar.

Available via ONLINE streaming and in-person

Technology and Deepwater Horizon

August 30th, 2016

In-person participants: 8:30 am – 2:00 pm (Eastern)

Online participants: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm (Eastern)/8:00 am – 11:00 am (Central)

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science | Miami, FL

Come and learn about the technologies that were used to better our understanding of Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Lunch will be provided to registered attendees. Please visit our webpage for more information and to register: https://gulfseagrant.wordpress.com/oilspilloutreach/presentations/

Questions? Please contact Emily Maung-Douglass with Louisiana Sea Grant via email or at (225) 578-9926 or Monica Wilson with UF/IFAS Sea Grant email or at (727) 553-3516.

We are continuously working to deliver peer-reviewed science to you. Contact your local Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Specialist for more information: https://gulfseagrant.wordpress.com/oilspilloutreach/contact-a-member-of-the-oil-spill-outreach-project/

Gulf Council to Meet in New Orleans, Louisiana

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet August 15 – 18, 2016, at the Astor Crowne Plaza hotel in New Orleans, LA.  Committee meetings will convene Monday at 8:30 am and conclude at 11:00 am Wednesday. The full Council will convene Wednesday morning beginning at 11:15 am. The Council is expected to adjourn by 4:15 pm Thursday.

 

The Committees & Council Agenda is posted on the Council web site and meeting materials will be posted as they become available.

 

Public comment is scheduled Wednesday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Testimony will be taken on the following:

  • Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Draft Environmental Impact Statement
  • Open testimony on any other fishery issues or concerns

Council meetings are open to the public and are broadcast live over the internet. Register for the webinar here or call 888-833-1844.

FB16-051: NOAA Fisheries Announces the Extension of the Gulf of Mexico Commercial Shrimp Permit Moratorium – Small Entity Compliance Guide

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Brine Frozen Louisiana Shrimp Credit: Julie Lively

A new rule effective August 22, 2016, will extend the existing commercial shrimp permit moratorium for an additional 10 years, until October 26, 2026.

 

NOAA Fisheries, with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, developed Amendment 17A to the management plan for Gulf shrimp containing these management measures. The final rule implementing the regulations published in the Federal Register on July 22, 2016.

 

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, final rule, and supporting materials may be obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Web site

http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/shrimp/2016/am17a/index.html

 

NOAA Fisheries would also like to remind permit holders of reporting requirements to renew Gulf shrimp permits. All permit holders must complete the annual landings and gear survey forms before renewing their permits. In addition, permit holders must complete the annual economic survey form and participate in the electronic logbook, observer, and trip interview programs, if selected. For more information about these surveys and programs:

  • Permit renewals: NOAA Fisheries Southeast Permits Office, 1-877-376-4877
  • Annual landings survey, annual gear survey, and electronic logbook program: Rebecca Smith, 409-766-3783
  • Annual economic survey: Southeast Fisheries Science Center, 305-365-4109
  • Observer program: Elizabeth Scott-Denton, 409-766-3571

 

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.

FB16-052: NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments on Proposed Changes to Red Grouper Allowable Harvest in the Gulf of Mexico – Comment Period Ends August 25, 2016

Red Grouper

Red Grouper- Illustration by Diane Rome Peebles

NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on changes to the red grouper allowable harvest in the Gulf of Mexico.

Proposed Changes:

  • Increase the Gulf of Mexico red grouper annual catch limit and quota (annual catch target) for the commercial sector from 6.03 and 5.72 million pounds gutted weight, to 8.19 and 7.78 million pounds gutted weight, respectively.
  • Increase the Gulf of Mexico red grouper annual catch limit and annual catch target for the recreational sector from 1.9 and 1.73 million pounds gutted weight, to 2.58 and 2.37 million pounds gutted weight, respectively.


Need for Action:

 

This increase in allowable harvest is anticipated to allow the recreational fishing season the opportunity to remain open yearlong instead of closing late in the season. In addition, the increase in quota will provide the commercial fisherman an increase in their Individual Fishing Quota allocation.

 

How to Submit Comments:

 

NOAA Fisheries must receive comments on this proposed rulemaking no later than August 25, 2016. You may submit comments on the amendment or the proposed rule, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2016-0077”, by one of the following methods:

 

Electronic Submission: Go to the federal e-Rulemaking Portal at

https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0077, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments.

 

Mail:    NOAA Fisheries

Southeast Regional Office

Sustainable Fisheries Division

c/o Rich Malinowski

263 13th Avenue South

St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505

 

All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on the regulations.gov website without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible.

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