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Amendment 23 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan

December 08, 2022

NOAA Fisheries is implementing Amendment 23.

On December 8, 2022, NOAA Fisheries filed a final rule implementing Amendment 23 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. We approved Amendment 23 on April 12, 2022, and this final rule contains the regulations necessary to implement the approved measures.

When do these changes take effect?

Beginning December 15, 2022, trips exclusively fishing west of 71 degrees 30 minutes west longitude will be excluded from the human at-sea monitoring requirement. All other measures implementing Amendment 23 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan are effective January 9, 2023.

What does Amendment 23 do?

Amendment 23 makes the following changes to the groundfish sector monitoring program:

  • Changes how the human at-sea monitoring coverage target is determined.
  • Authorizes sectors to use two electronic monitoring options as an alternative to human at-sea monitoring.
  • Excludes trips fishing exclusively west of 71 degrees 30 minutes west longitude from the human at-sea monitoring requirement.
    • All vessels must carry a Northeast Fishery Observer Program (NEFOP) observer when assigned one by NOAA Fisheries.
  • Requires the New England Fishery Management Council to review the monitoring program and exclusions from the human at-sea monitoring requirement after two years.
  • Eliminates the management uncertainty buffer for sector annual catch entitlements (ACE) when the monitoring coverage target is 100 percent, unless the Council decides to retain a buffer.
  • Authorizes the Regional Administrator to revise sector reporting requirements to streamline reporting for the industry.

This bulletin summarizes the measures in Amendment 23 that affect the operations of vessels and dealers. Additional information on the measures for vessels and dealers in Amendment 23 is available on our Amendment 23 website. Details on the other measures included in Amendment 23 are provided in the final rule

 

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.