04/17/14 – NOAA Fishery Bulletin – FB14-026: NOAA Fisheries Has Specified New, Temporary Catch Limits for Blueline Tilefish in the South Atlantic through Emergency Action – Comment Period Ends May 19, 2014

SOUTHEAST FISHERY BULLETIN  

(South Atlantic) 

FB14-026      

727-824-5305  

April 17, 2014      

  NOAA Fisheries Has Specified New, Temporary Catch Limits for Blueline Tilefish in the South Atlantic through Emergency Action

NOAA Fisheries has specified new, temporary catch limits for blueline tilefish in the South Atlantic through emergency action. Effective on April 17, 2014, the catch limits are 112,207 and 111,893 pounds whole weight for the commercial and recreational sectors, respectively. NOAA Fisheries will also prohibit harvest of the commercial and recreational sectors, in-season, if the sectors' catch limits are projected to be met.

Prior to this temporary rule, blueline tilefish catch limits were included in a Deep-Water Complex. The Deep-Water Complex consisted of blueline tilefish, yellowedge grouper, silk snapper, misty grouper, queen snapper, sand tilefish, black snapper, and blackfin snapper.   However, NOAA Fisheries has temporarily removed blueline tilefish from the Deep-Water Complex. NOAA Fisheries has also temporarily changed the catch limits for the Deep-Water Complex to 60,371 and 19,313 pounds whole weight for the commercial and recreational sectors, respectively, to reflect the current catch limits for the Deep-Water Complex with the blueline tilefish portion removed.

The temporary measures will be in place for 180 days (through October 14, 2014) and may be extended for 186 additional days. NOAA Fisheries will notify the public if the temporary measures are extended.

Need for Action

A stock assessment completed in October 2013 determined that the blueline tilefish population in the South Atlantic is experiencing overfishing (fishing pressure too high) and is overfished (population too low). The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and NOAA Fisheries are working on regulations to end overfishing and rebuild the population. While those regulations are being developed, the Council requested NOAA Fisheries take emergency action to reduce fishing pressure of blueline tilefish.

How to Submit Comments

Comments on the temporary rule through emergency action must be received on or before May 19, 2014. You may submit comments either electronically or through mail. Comments received through other means may not be considered.
 
Electronic Submissions:

Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.* Go to: www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0027 

* Click on "Comment Now!" Complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

* Attachments to electronic comments (up to 10 MB) will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

Mail:

Rick DeVictor

NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

Sustainable Fisheries Division

263 13th Avenue South

St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505

All comments will be part of the public record and posted for public viewing to www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter, may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. Anonymous comments will be accepted.

Additional Information

More information, including Frequently Asked Questions, may be found online at:

http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/2014/acl_er/index.html 

 

Summary:

NOAA Fisheries Has Specified New, Temporary Catch Limits for Blueline Tilefish in the South Atlantic through Emergency Action