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Final Rule to Allow Transfer of Black Sea Bass Pot Endorsements Published

the Fish Site Editor
10 December 2012, at 12:00am

US - NOAA Fisheries is publishing final regulations for a resubmitted action from Amendment 18A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 18A) on 7 December 2012. Amendment 18A was implemented on 1 July 2012, and established a black sea bass pot endorsement programme.

Amendment 18A also contained an action to allow black sea bass pot endorsements to be transferred to individuals or entities that hold or simultaneously obtain a South Atlantic Unlimited Snapper-Grouper Permit. However, Amendment 18A had the wrong preferred alternative designated and there were discrepancies in the record regarding the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's discussion of the alternatives. Therefore, NOAA Fisheries did not implement the transferability action in Amendment 18A and the South Atlantic Fishery management Council addressed the action in a separate amendment.

The Final rule for the Resubmitted Amendment 18A Action Amendment allows black sea bass endorsements to be transferred under the following conditions:

  • Valid or renewable black sea bass pot endorsements would be transferable upon the effective date of the final rule implementing this action.

  • Valid and renewable endorsements could only be transferred to any individual or entity holding or simultaneously obtaining a valid South Atlantic Unlimited Snapper-Grouper Permit.

  • Valid and renewable endorsements would be transferable, independently from the South Atlantic Unlimited Snapper Grouper Permit.

  • All landings of black sea bass using the black sea bass pot endorsement would be associated with the South Atlantic Unlimited Snapper-Grouper Permit with which the endorsement is associated regardless of when landings occurred.

  • Landings of black sea bass using the black sea bass pot endorsement would not be transferred with the endorsement.

  • Endorsements would not be automatically renewed when the associated South Atlantic Unlimited Snapper-Grouper Permit is renewed. (Endorsement holders would need to check a box on the application to renew their black sea bass pot endorsement.)