Request for Comments: Proposed Rule to Revise Annual Catch Limits for South Atlantic Vermilion Snapper and Black Sea Bass

February 19, 2019

FB19-007 South Atlantic Fishery Bulletin; For more information, contact: Frank Helies, (727) 824-5305, Frank.Helies@noaa.gov

KEY MESSAGE:

  • NOAA Fisheries requests your comments on a proposed rule for Abbreviated Framework Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, which addresses vermilion snapper and black sea bass in the South Atlantic.
  • This proposed rule would increase the annual catch limits for South Atlantic vermilion snapper in response to the results of the latest population assessment. 
  • This proposed rule would reduce the annual catch limits for South Atlantic black sea bass in response to the results of the latest population assessment. 
  • Comments are due by March 6, 2019.

 

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED CHANGES:

  • The proposed rule would increase the total and sector annual catch limits for vermilion snapper.
  • New annual catch limits for vermilion snapper (in pounds whole weight) are as follows:

Year

Total ACL

Commercial ACL*

Recreational ACL

Current

1,269,000

862,920

406,080

2019

1,579,000

1,073,720

505,280

2020

1,478,000

1,005,040

472,960

2021

1,408,000

957,440

450,560

2022

1,362,000

926,160

435,840

2023 until modified

1,336,000

908,480

427,520

* For the commercial sector, the annual catch limit is further divided into two 6-month seasons and the annual catch limit is equally divided between the seasons.

 

  • The proposed rule would decrease the total and sector annual catch limits for black sea bass.
  • New annual catch limits for black sea bass (in pounds whole weight) are as follows:

Year

Total ACL

Commercial ACL*

Recreational ACL ** (Fishing Year)

Current

1,756,450

755,274

1,001,176

2019

760,000

326,800

433,200 (2019/2020)

2020

669,000

287,670

381,330 (2020/2021)

2021 until modified

643,000

276,490

366,510 (2021/2022)

* The fishing year for the black sea bass commercial sector is from January 1 through December 31.

** The fishing year for the black sea bass recreational sector is from April 1 through March 31.

 

HOW TO COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED RULE:

The comment period is open now through March 6, 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 4758, published February 19, 2019.

 

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

1. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0133.

2. Click the "Comment Now!" icon, complete the required fields.

3. Enter or attach your comments.

 

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

Abbreviated Framework Amendment 2 may be found online at the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office Web site at:  https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/abbreviated-framework-amendment-2-vermilion-snapper-and-black-sea-bass.


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Other contacts:

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Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on March 11, 2019