NOAA Fisheries requests comments on a proposed rule, which if implemented, would modify Atlantic king mackerel trip limits in federal waters off Florida.
Comments are due by April 25, 2019
SUMMARY OF PROPOSED CHANGES:
- The proposed rule would modify the Season 1 Atlantic king mackerel trip limits in the Atlantic Southern Zone exclusive economic zone.
- For the month of March, between the Flagler/Volusia County, Florida boundary and the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida boundary, the trip limit would be 75 fish.
- Between April 1and September 30, the trip limit would be 3,500-pounds off Volusia County, Florida.
HOW TO COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED RULE:
The comment period is open through April 25, 2019. 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: 84 FR 11275, published March 26, 2019.
Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.
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.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
What would the proposed rule do?
- The proposed rule for Framework Amendment 6 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan) would increase the Season 1 Atlantic king mackerel trip limits in the Atlantic Southern Zone exclusive economic zone to 75 fish for the month of March between the Flagler/Volusia County, Florida boundary and the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida boundary (25º20’24” N) and to 3,500-pounds for April 1-September 30 off Volusia County, Florida.
- Framework Amendment 6 would NOT change the current April 1-September 30 trip limit south of Volusia County, Florida to the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida boundary of 75 fish until 75% of the Season 1 quota is landed, at which time the trip limit is adjusted to 50 fish. Season 1 is March 1 through September 30.
Why are the proposed actions needed?
- The trip limit system for the Atlantic Southern Zone was implemented on May 11, 2017, through the final rule to implement Amendment 26 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan (Amendment 26).
- Currently in the Atlantic Southern Zone, a 3,500-pound trip limit is in effect for federal waters north of the Flagler/Volusia County, Florida, boundary (29º25’ N), during all of Season 1; Framework Amendment 6 would not change that trip limit.
- South of the Flagler/Volusia County, Florida boundary, the trip limit changes throughout the year, beginning with a 50-fish trip limit for the month of March and then a trip limit of 75 fish for the rest of Season 1 until 75% of the quota is landed, at which time the trip limit is adjusted to 50 fish.
- Following the implementation of Amendment 26, fishermen on the Florida east coast expressed concern about the new trip limits, especially the Season 1 trip limits in federal waters off Volusia County, Florida.
- Comments from stakeholders indicated that fishermen operating out of Volusia County travel farther offshore to target Atlantic king mackerel and often complete multi-day trips, and the 50-fish trip limit in March makes it challenging to earn enough money to pay for the cost of a trip, potentially causing undue hardship to fishermen and communities.
- In response to these concerns, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council developed Framework Amendment 6 to modify the Season 1 Atlantic king mackerel trip limits in the Atlantic Southern Zone.
Where can I find more information on the framework amendment and proposed 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 Phone: (727) 824-5305
By FAX: (727) 824-5308
- Framework Amendment 6 and proposed rule may be found online at the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office Web site at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/framework-amendment-6-atlantic-king-mackerel-commercial-trip-limits.
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