NOAA Fisheries published a final rule to implement a South Atlantic Coastal Migratory Pelagics Framework Amendment (Framework Amendment). The final rule for the Framework Amendment published in the Federal Register on November 19, 2014, [79 FR 68802].
The Final Rule for the Framework Amendment will:
- Allow Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel, harvested with gillnet gear in the South Atlantic in excess of the trip limit, to be transferred to another federally permitted vessel that has not yet harvested the trip limit. This provision would be allowed under certain conditions:
- If allowable gillnet gear is used to harvest Spanish mackerel.
- Transfer takes place in federal waters between vessels with valid Spanish mackerel commercial permits.
- The receiving vessel may possess no more than three gillnets on board after transfer is complete.
- All fish exceeding the applicable daily vessel limit shall remain entangled in the meshes of the net until transfer.
- The quantity of fish transferred to any single vessel shall not exceed the applicable daily trip limit.
- Only one transfer per vessel per day would be allowed.
- Call-in would be required for both vessels engaged in the transfer: NOAA Fisheries Port Orange Law Enforcement Office (386) 492-6686.
- Modify the king mackerel trip limit in the east coast Florida subzone as follows:
- From November 1 through the end of February, the trip limit is not to exceed 50 fish per trip.
- Beginning on March 1 and continuing through March 31, if 70% or more of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) group Florida east coast subzone quota has been harvested, the trip limit would remain 50 fish per trip. If less than 70% of the Gulf group Florida east coast subzone quota has been harvested, the trip limit would increase to 75 fish per trip.
The Framework Action and the final rule may be obtained from:
- The NOAA Fisheries Web site http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/cmp/2014/sa_framework/index.html.
For more information on the Framework Action, please click on this link to the Framework Action Frequently Asked Questions found at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/cmp/2014/sa_framework/index.html.