NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on the proposed rule for Regulatory Amendment 13 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. The proposed rule published on March 21, 2013 (78 FR 17336), with a comment period ending on April 22, 2013.
Regulatory Amendment 13 would revise the acceptable biological catch estimates, annual catch limits (including sector annual catch limits), and recreational annual catch targets for 37 un-assessed species in the snapper-grouper fishery management unit. The revisions incorporate updates to the recreational data for these species, as per the new Marine Recreational Information Program, as well as revisions to commercial and for-hire landings.
Regulatory Amendment 13 is necessary to avoid triggering accountability measures for these snapper-grouper species based on annual catch limits that were established by the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment in April 2012, using recreational data under the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey system. NOAA Fisheries no longer uses the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey and now estimates recreational landings using the Marine Recreational Information Program.
The 37 species affected by Regulatory Amendment 13 are 31 species in the deepwater, jacks, snappers, grunts, shallow water groupers, and porgies complexes; as well as six individual stocks. A listing of these species, and the revised values can be found at:
Request for Comments
Comments on the proposed rule must be received no later than April 22, 2013, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries. See the Addresses section for information on where and how to submit comments.
Electronic or hardcopies of the proposed rule may be obtained from:
- The NOAA Fisheries Web site: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/SASnapperGrouperHomepage.htm.
- The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Web site: http://www.safmc.net.
You may submit comments by the following methods:
- Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0245, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
- Mail: Nikhil Mehta
Southeast Regional Office
National Marine Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
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. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
For more information on the proposed rule for Regulatory Amendment 13, please follow this link to the Frequently Asked Questions