Proposed NMFS rule change ups fisheries reporting


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
January 7, 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) has proposed a rule that would change dealer reporting requirements in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic regions.

The biggest change addresses the amount of time a dealer had to report a purchase. Dealers would have one week compared to the current two weeks to submit purchase forms.

The comment period for the proposed rule end on 3 February.

The rule would establish a new single dealer permit that would be required to purchase products managed in the fishery management plans for the South Atlantic fishery, Gulf of Mexico fishery and Atlantic fishery. Purchase forms would be submitted electronically, once a week and be due 11:59 p.m. local time, every Tuesday.

Dealers reporting purchases of king mackerel landed by the gillnet sector for the Gulf West Coast Florida Southern Sub-Zone would be required to submit forms daily by 6 a.m. If no purchase is made, a no-purchase form must also be submitted online, once a week.

Delinquent reports automatically result in Gulf and South Atlantic dealer becoming ineligible to receive the specified federally managed species regardless of any notification by NMFS. A dealer would only be authorized to receive the specified federally managed species if the dealer’s previous reports have been submitted and received by NMFS.

According to NMFS, the action will improve the completeness and timeliness of purchase information.

“Many commercial fisheries close when landings are projected to reach the commercial annual catch limits. The current reporting frequency reduces the precision of the projections, often resulting in landings significantly less or greater than the annual catch limits,” NMFS said.

In implementing this proposed rule, NOAA Fisheries intends to use an effective date four months after the date of publication of the final rule, but not require those entities who already have dealer permits to submit an application for the new generic permit until their current permit comes up for renewal, even if it is well after the effective date. However, new dealers should be sure to submit an application at least 30 days prior to the date they need the permit issued.

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