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Request for Comments: Proposed Changes to Golden Tilefish Regulations in Federal Waters of the South Atlantic Region

October 30, 2017

FB17-062 South Atlantic Fishery Bulletin; For More Information, Contact: Mary Vara (727) 824-5305

Key Message:

NOAA Fisheries requests your comments on a proposed interim rule for golden tilefish.  The proposed actions in the interim rule would temporarily reduce golden tilefish catch limits for 2018 based on the most recent population assessment.  The purpose of the action is to reduce overfishing (rate of removal is too high) of golden tilefish while management measures are being developed to end overfishing.

Comments are due by November 14, 2017

Summary of Proposed Changes:

  • The proposed interim rule would temporarily reduce the total catch limit for golden tilefish from 558,036 to 323,000 pounds gutted weight. Using the existing allocations, the temporary catch limits would be 313,310 pounds gutted weight for the commercial fishery and 2,187 fish for the recreational fishery.  For commercial fishermen, the hook-and-line catch limit would be 78,328 pounds gutted weight and the long-line catch limit would be 234,982 pounds gutted weight.
  • The interim measures would be effective for 180 days after the date of publication and may be extended for an additional 186 days while the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council develops Amendment 45 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery in the South Atlantic (Amendment 45).

How to Comment on the Proposed Interim Rule:

There is a 15 day comment period associated with this proposed interim rule.  The comment period is now open through November 14, 2017.  We will address all comments specifically directed to the proposed interim rule in the final rule.  You may submit comments by electronic submission or by postal mail.  Comments sent by any other method (such as e-mail), to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries.

Formal Federal Register Name/Number: 82 FR 50101, published October 30, 2017

Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. 

  1. Go to https://www.regulations.gov.
  2. Click the "Comment Now!" icon, complete the required fields.
  3. Enter or attach your comments.

Mail: Submit written comments to Karla Gore, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why is the temporary reduction in the catch limit being proposed? 

  • These temporary regulations will reduce overfishing of golden tilefish while long-term management measures are developed to end overfishing in Amendment 45.
  • In April 2016, a population assessment update for golden tilefish was completed using data through 2014 (SEDAR 25 Update 2016). The updated assessment indicated that the golden tilefish population is undergoing overfishing but is not overfished (population abundance is too low). 
  • As mandated by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries must end overfishing of golden tilefish.

What are the proposed actions in the proposed interim rule? 

  • Temporarily revise the commercial and recreational catch limits for golden tilefish for 2018 (See Table 1 below). 

Table 1. Proposed commercial and recreational catch limits for golden tilefish

Total Catch Limit Commercial Catch Limit Commercial Hook-and-Line Catch Limit Commercial Longline Catch Limit Recreational Catch Limit
(Pounds gutted weight) (Pounds Gutted Weight) (Pounds Gutted Weight) (Pounds Gutted Weight) (Numbers of fish)
323,000 313,310 78,328 234,982 2,187


Where can I find more information on the environmental assessment and the interim rule?

  • Contact NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

By Mail: Karla Gore

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

NOAA's Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery-related alerts via text message (SMS).  Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.

Text alerts you may receive include:

  • Immediate fishery openings and closures
  • Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly

Sign up for one or more of the following groups:

  • Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
  • Caribbean Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text CARIBFISH to 888777

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on February 06, 2023