Framework Action : Historical Captain Permits Conversion into Standard Federal Charter/Headboat Permits
This final rule and Framework Action provide federal for-hire operators in the Gulf an opportunity to replace their reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic historical captain permits with standard Gulf charter/headboat permits. Historical captain permits were issued to qualifying captains when the federal for-hire permits for those fisheries became limited access in 2002. Unlike standard Gulf charter/headboat permits, historical captain permits are not transferable and require the endorsement holder to be on the vessel. The Council previously took action to allow for the conversion of historical captain permits in 2018 and all eligible historical captain permits were converted after the final rule implementing that action became effective in 2020. This rule allows for the conversion of remaining six historical captain permits.
At its April 2022 meeting, the Council unanimously approved the Framework Action for Secretarial review. The final rule implements the framework action.
The need for the rule is to reduce the regulatory and potential economic burden on historical captain permit holders while preventing overfishing consistent with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.