New Permit Income, Crew Size Rule for Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish

22 October 2012, at 1:00am

US - NOAA Fisheries has published a final rule (77 FR 64237) for Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Permit Requirements and Dual-Permitted Vessel Crew Size. The rule was effective on 19 November, 2012.

The rule eliminates the earned income qualification requirement for the renewal of Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fish permits, and increases the maximum number of crew members for dual-permitted (commercial and charter) vessels.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council determined the existing earned income requirement in the reef fish fishery is no longer necessary. The regulation pertaining to the maximum number of crew stipulates that dual-permitted vessels without a certificate of inspection are limited to a three-person crew when fishing commercially. The increase to four crew members would most directly benefit commercial spear fishermen, by allowing two persons to remain aboard, resulting in improved safety during commercial diving operations.

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

Electronic copies of the amendment and final rule may be obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Web site