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Final Rule for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish Announced

Lucy Towers
24 April 2013, at 1:00am

US - NOAA Fisheries has published a final rule to implement Amendment 18B to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. Amendment 18B establishes a longline endorsement program to limit participation and reduce overcapacity in the golden tilefish component of the snapper-grouper fishery.

A final rule implementing these regulations published in the Federal Register on April 23, 2013 (78 FR 23858), with an effective date of May 23, 2013.

The final rule for Amendment 18B includes:

  • An endorsement programme for the longline sector of the golden tilefish component of the snapper-grouper fishery.
  • Establishment of landings criteria to determine who will receive endorsements. Only golden tilefish fishermen who meet certain landings criteria and also have a valid Unlimited South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Permit will receive an endorsement and be allowed to use longline gear to harvest golden tilefish.
  • An appeals process for the golden tilefish endorsement programme.
  • Establishment of a procedure to allow transferability of golden tilefish endorsements.
  • Allocation of 75 per cent of the commercial annual catch limit to the longline sector and 25 per cent to the hook-and-line sector.
  • Modification of the golden tilefish trip limits to remove the 300 pound gutted weight trip limit when 75 per cent of the commercial annual catch limit is caught.
  • Establishment of a 500 pound gutted weight trip limit for those who do not qualify for a golden tilefish endorsement.