Request for Public Comment on a Control Date for Commercial Spanish Mackerel

October 15, 2019

FB19-062: South Atlantic Fishery Bulletin; For more information contact: Sustainable Fisheries (727) 824-5305

image of spanish mackerel

 

KEY MESSAGE:

 

On October 15, 2019, NOAA Fisheries published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to set a control date of March 7, 2019, for commercial Spanish mackerel.  This notice informs current and potential future participants that the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (South Atlantic Council) is considering restrictions limiting participation in the commercial Spanish mackerel sector.  Participants who enter the commercial sector after March 7, 2019, will not be assured of future access if a management regime that limits participation in the sector is prepared and implemented.  NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on this control date.

 

SUMMARY:

  • The federal commercial permit for Spanish mackerel is currently an open access permit and allows fishermen to harvest both Atlantic and Gulf migratory groups of Spanish mackerel.
  • At their June 2019 meeting, the South Atlantic Council requested NOAA Fisheries publish a notice informing the public of the March 7, 2019, control date.
  • At future meetings, the South Atlantic Council will continue discussions on possible avenues to control effort in the commercial Spanish mackerel sector, including, but not limited to, a limited access commercial permit, a limited access gillnet endorsement in the Atlantic southern zone (North Carolina/South Carolina boundary to the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida, boundary, and ways to improve collaboration with state agencies.
  • The South Atlantic Council may choose a different control date or a different management program without using a control date.
  • The South Atlantic Council may also choose to take no further action to control entry or access to the commercial Spanish mackerel sector.
  • If the South Atlantic Council decides to restrict participation in the commercial Spanish mackerel sector in relation to this control date, an amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region, including analysis of specific biological, economic, and social effects will be prepared at that time.
  • The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will need to approve any restrictions for the commercial Spanish mackerel sector.

 

HOW TO COMMENT ON THE NOTICE:

The comment period for the notice is open now through November 14, 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 NUMBER:  84 FR 55132, published October 15, 2019

 

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

1. Go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2019-0083.

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

3. Enter or attach your comments.

 

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


 

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Other contacts:

Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707

            Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750 

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on October 15, 2019