~ Abstract ~
Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species(HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP)ABSTRACT
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is amending the 2006Consolidated HMS FMP to address bluefin tuna management due torecent trends and characteristics of the bluefin fishery. This action isnecessary to meet domestic management objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act including preventingoverfishing, achieving optimal yield, and minimizing bycatch to the extent practicable, as well as the objectives of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act(ATCA) and obligations pursuant to binding recommendations of theInternational Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas(ICCAT). NMFS takes these actions to reduce bluefin dead discards and account for dead discards in all categories; optimize fishing opportunitiesin all categories; enhance reporting and monitoring; and adjust other aspects of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP as necessary.
Reallocate bluefin quotas; implement several actions applicable to the pelagic longline fishery, including Individual Bluefin Quotas, two newGear Restricted Areas, access to current closed areas based on performance criteria, , closure of the pelagic longline fishery when annual bluefin quota is reached, elimination of target catch requirements,mandatory retention of legal-sized bluefin, expanded monitoringrequirements including electronic monitoring via cameras and reportingvia Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), authorization for futuredevelopment of an industry funded observer program, and transiting provisions for pelagic and bottom longline vessels; require VMS use and reporting by the Purse Seine category; change start date of Purse Seinecategory to June 1; expand Automated Catch Reporting System use to theGeneral and Harpoon categories; provide additional flexibilities for inseason adjustment of the General category quota and Harpoon categoryretention limits; allocate a portion of the Angling category Trophy Southsubquota to the Gulf of Mexico; implement a U.S. North Atlantic albacoretuna quota; modify rules regarding permit category changes; and implement minor regulatory changes.
Type of statement:
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), Regulatory Impact Review(RIR), and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA)
NMFS Office of Sustainable Fisheries
For further information:
Highly Migratory Species Management Division (F/SF1), NMFS Northeast Regional Office; 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester,MA 01930; Phone: (978) 281-9260; Fax: (978) 281-9340