Spiny Lobster Regulatory Amendment 13
There is a procedure and protocol in place in the Spiny Lobster Joint FMP to allow NMFS to update federal regulations to align with Florida regulations without necessary action by the Councils. However, the procedure and protocol need to be updated before the process can be used again to update federal regulations to align with the Florida bully net regulations.
The Gulf Council (administrative lead on the amendment) directed staff to start work on the amendment at their April 2017 meeting, and the South Atlantic Council approved an identical motion at their June 2017 meeting. The Gulf Council reviewed an options paper at their October 2017 meeting. The South Atlantic Council reviewed the draft Gulf actions and alternatives in December 2017. Both Councils approved a motion to add actions to this amendment that would address inconsistencies between State of Florida spiny lobster regulations and those in federal waters concerning bag limits, degradable panels, and the definition of artificial habitat.
Scoping webinars were held January 8thand 9th, 2018. The Gulf Council approved actions and alternatives to be analyzed in January 2018. South Atlantic Council reviewed public input and approved the actions and alternatives to be analyzed in March 2018. At the June 2018 meeting, the South Atlantic Council reviewed the amendment, selected preferred alternatives, moved the actions addressing degradable panels and artificial habitat to the considered but rejected appendix, and approved the document for public hearings. The Gulf Council reviewed the document and concurred with the motions passed by the South Atlantic Council at their June 2018 meeting. The South Atlantic Council will consider taking final action on Amendment 13 at their September 2018 meeting. The Gulf Council approved Amendment 13 for formal review at their August 2018 meeting. After reviewing the document and public comments at their September 2018 meeting, the Council approved Amendment 13 for formal review.
- Scoping: January 2018
- Public Hearing: September 2018
- Final Approval: October 2018
- Secretarial Review: November 2018
- Rule Making: April 2019