NOAA Fisheries is publishing a final rule for the For-Hire Reporting Amendment to modify headboat reporting requirements on December 27, 2013. The notable changes include when and how to report. The For-Hire Reporting Amendment includes:
- Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region.
- Amendment 6 for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic.
- Amendment 22 for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.
The regulations in the final rule are effective on January 27, 2014.
Purpose of the Rule
The rule modifies the data reporting requirements for federally permitted headboats in the South Atlantic 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 better ensure annual catch limits are not exceeded.
What are the reporting requirement changes?
1)The rule requires headboat vessels to submit fishing records to the Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) on a weekly basis, or at intervals shorter than a week if notified by the SEFSC Research Director. The current requirement is to submit fishing records on a monthly basis.
2)The rule changes the current method of submitting by paper and mail to submitting them electronically (i.e., internet).
3)Headboat owners and operators who are delinquent in 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.
This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.
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.
For more information on the For-Hire Amendment please click on this link to the For-Hire Amendment Frequently Asked Questions found at:
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/2013/for_hire_reporting/index.html or view the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Web page at: www.safmc.net.
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