6/4/15 – NOAA Fisheries: FB15-037: NOAA Fisheries Seeks Public Comment on a Proposed Rule for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region – Comment Period Ends July 6, 2015

SOUTHEAST FISHERY BULLETIN  

(South Atlantic) 

FB15-037

Mary Janine Vara 

727-824-5305      

June 4, 2015     

NOAA Fisheries Seeks Public Comment on a Proposed Rule for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region

Comment Period Ends July 6, 2015

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on the proposed rule for Regulatory Amendment 22 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 22). The proposed rule published on June 4, 2015 (80 FR 31880), with a comment period ending on July 6, 2015.

The proposed rule would adjust the annual catch limits (ACL) of gag and wreckfish based on the outcome of population assessments.

Gag

The commercial and recreational annual catch limits for gag would initially decrease from 2014 levels, but would gradually increase and exceed 2014 levels by 2018. The total annual catch limit for gag is allocated between the commercial and recreation sectors. Commercial and recreational allocations will continue to be 51% and 49%, respectively. The commercial annual catch limit is reduced to the directed commercial quota by 27,218 pounds gutted weight to account for discard mortality of gag that would result from targeting other shallow water groupers after harvest of gag is closed. The new values in pounds gutted weight are:

Year

Total

Gag

ACL

Commercial

ACL

(51% of Total ACL)

Directed

Commercial

Quota

Recreational

ACL

(49% of Total ACL)

Current

(2014)

694,000

353,940

326,722

340,060

2015

632,700

322,677

295,459

310,023

2016

637,450

325,100

297,882

312,351

2017

677,350

345,449

318,231

331,902

2018

710,600

362,406

335,188

348,194

2019

734,350

374,519

347,301

359,832

Wreckfish

The commercial and recreational annual catch limits for wreckfish would be higher than 2014 levels. The total annual catch limit for wreckfish is divided among the commercial and recreation sector. Commercial and recreational allocations will continue to be 95% and 5%, respectively. The new values in pounds whole weight are:

Year

Total

Wreckfish

ACL

Commercial

ACL

(95% of Total ACL)

Recreational ACL

(5% of Total ACL)

Current

(2014)

235,000

223,250

11,750

2015

433,000

411,350

21,650

2016

423,700

402,515

21,185

2017

414,200

393,490

20,710

2018

406,300

385,985

20,315

2019

396,800

376,960

19,840

2020

389,100

369,645

19,455

Request for Comments:

Comments on the proposed rule must be received no later than July 6, 2015, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries. See the Addresses section for information on where and how to submit comments below.

Addresses:

Electronic or hardcopies of the proposed rule may be obtained from:

You may submit comments by the following methods:

  • Mail:

       Mary Janine Vara

       NOAA Fisheries

       Southeast Regional Office

       Sustainable Fisheries Division

       263 13th Avenue South

       St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

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).


Read FB15-037

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Summary:

Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 22 - Gag & Wreckfish Management Measures; FB15-037: NOAA Fisheries Seeks Public Comment on a Proposed Rule for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region - Comment Period Ends July 6, 2015