NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on a proposed rule implementing a framework action to modify headboat reporting requirements. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council submitted the action to NOAA Fisheries for review, approval, and implementation. The proposed rule published in the

Federal Register on October 25, 2013.


Purpose of the Rule

The rule would modify the data reporting requirements for federally permitted headboats in the Gulf of Mexico to ensure effort, landings, and discard information of federally managed fish are recorded accurately and in a timely manner. The intent of the rule is to prevent overfishing and better ensure annual catch limits are not exceeded.


What are the proposed reporting requirement changes?

The proposed action would modify the frequency and method of the headboat reporting from monthly to weekly, and from paper copies to electronically submitted reports. Headboat owners and operators who are delinquent on submitting reports would not be allowed to fish until all required reports have been submitted. This requirement should help to improve compliance with data reporting within the recreational sector.


Request for Comments

The proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 25, 2013. Written comments on the rule must be received no later than November 25, 2013, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries. All comments received by NOAA Fisheries will be addressed in the final rule. Electronic copies of the proposed rule and supporting documents may be obtained from the federal e-Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov, and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Web site at http://www.gulfcouncil.org.


How to Submit Comments

You may submit comments on this rule, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2013-0111”, by any of the following methods:



  • Mail: Submit written comments to Richard Malinowski, NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.


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).