- The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council submitted Amendment 10 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hard Bottom Habitats of the South Atlantic Region (Coral Amendment 10) to NOAA Fisheries requesting approval and implementation.
- Coral Amendment 10 would establish an approximately 22 square mileshrimp fishery access area along the eastern boundary of the northern extension of the Oculina Bank Habitat Area of Particular Concern where fishing for and possessing rock shrimp is currently prohibited.
- NOAA Fisheries disapproved Coral Amendment 10 after determining the amendment does not adequately demonstrate how a decision to open the area to rock shrimp fishing is consistent with Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requirements related to essential fish habitat and bycatch, and the goals and objectives of the Coral Fishery Management Plan.
- The Council will have an opportunity to address these deficiencies and submit a revised amendment requesting approval and implementation.
- NOAA Fisheries appreciates and shares the Council’s desire to increase economic and social benefits in the rock shrimp fishery, as well as the interest of the Council and many others to adequately protect vulnerable coral habitat.
Where can I find more information on Coral Amendment 10?
- Coral Amendment 10 may be found online at the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office Website at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/amendment-10-establish-shrimp-fishery-access-area/.
- By Mail: Frank Helies
NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505
By FAX: (727) 824-5308
By Phone: (727) 824-5305
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is NOAA Fisheries announcing today?
- NOAA Fisheries is notifying the Council of disapproval of South Atlantic Coral Amendment 10.
What is the proposed action in Coral Amendment 10?
- Coral Amendment 10 would establish an approximately 22 square mileshrimp fishery access area along the eastern boundary of the northern extension of the Oculina Habitat Area of Particular Concern where fishing for and possessing rock shrimp is currently prohibited.
- Within the proposed area, a shrimp vessel with a valid limited access commercial vessel permit for rock shrimp would be allowed to bottom trawl for rock shrimp.
- All other existing restrictions, including anchoring and use of bottom longline, dredge, pot, or trap, would remain in place.
Why did the Council request this action of NOAA Fisheries/Secretary of Commerce?
- The Council developed Coral Amendment 10 to increase economic and social benefits to South Atlantic rock shrimp fishermen by increasing access to historic rock shrimp fishing grounds.
Why is NOAA Fisheries disapproving Coral Amendment 10?
- The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires the Secretary of Commerce to review Coral Amendment 10 for consistency with the Act and other applicable laws. The Act also requires this review to take into account the information, views, and comments received on the amendment from interested persons.
- NOAA Fisheries’ review determined the record was not sufficient to support the Council's proposed action.
- The review concluded Coral Amendment 10 and supporting analyses do not adequately demonstrate how the proposed action: minimizes to the extent practicable the adverse effects of fishing on essential fish habitat; minimizes bycatch to the extent practicable and, to the extent bycatch cannot be avoided, minimizes the mortality of such bycatch; and is consistent with the goals and objectives of the South Atlantic Coral Fishery Management Plan, specifically in regards to protection of essential fish habitat.
What are the next steps?
- The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the Council an opportunity to address these deficiencies and submit a revised amendment requesting approval and implementation.
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Media: Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750