NOAA Fisheries announces a rule that makes the following changes to commercial regulations on king mackerel harvested by gillnets in the Gulf of Mexico:
- Increase the daily trip limit from 25,000 pounds to 45,000 pounds.
- Add an accountability measure to reduce the annual catch limit in the year following an overage.
- Modify electronic reporting requirements for dealers.
- Implement a landings requirement to renew a federal gillnet permit.
Dealer Reporting Requirements
Previously, dealers were required to submit an electronic form daily to NOAA Fisheries by 6 a.m. during the gillnet fishing season for purposes of monitoring the gillnet annual catch limit. This rule changes the daily electronic reporting requirement to daily reporting by other means to improve timeliness of reporting while reducing redundancy.
Until further notice, dealers will fax landings reports to the Southeast Fisheries Science Center by 10 a.m. each day the gillnet fishing season is open. Dealers who have handled gillnet-caught king mackerel in the past should receive a letter with the report form and instructions. If you do not receive this letter and plan to handle gillnet-caught king mackerel, please call 1-305-361-4290 to request a report form.
NOAA Fisheries will provide written notice to king mackerel gillnet dealers if the reporting method or deadline changes from the previous year, and will also post this information on the Southeast Regional Office Web site. Dealers must also report gillnet-caught king mackerel in their regular weekly electronic report of all species purchased.
Renewal Requirements for King Mackerel Gillnet Permits
A federal king mackerel gillnet permit is renewable only if the vessel associated with the permit landed more than one pound of king mackerel during any one year between 2006 and 2015. NOAA Fisheries will notify each king mackerel gillnet permittee to advise them whether their gillnet permit is eligible for renewal. This requirement does not affect the general commercial king mackerel permit.
If NOAA Fisheries advises a permittee that their permit is not renewable and they do not agree, a permittee may appeal that initial determination. Appeals must be submitted to the National Appeals Office no later than 90 days after the date the initial determination is issued. For additional details on the appeals process, please read the Frequently Asked Questions.
For more information on this rule, please visit the NOAA Southeast Fisheries Web site at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/cmp/2015/framework_am3/index.html