Comment needed - Amendment 18B (Golden Tilefish)

DaveDave Posts: 149 Officer
Amendment 18B deals with a number of issues on the commercial side of the Golden Tilefish regs. The troubling part is that this regulation once again gives the commercial side the vast majority (97%) of the fish, allots all of the recreational anglers in the South Atlantic a paltry 3,019 fish and causes the early closure.

Please make your comments demanding a fair allotment of at least 25% for recreational anglers.
Also this amendment contains a transferability clause that grants persons or corporations with a golden tile endorsement a property right in this public resource, we must also object to the government giving our fish away.

Enter your comments at:
[url] http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0177-0001[/url]]


NOAA's summary
NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on Amendment 18B to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 18B). The amendment proposes an endorsement program for the commercial longline sector of the golden tilefish component of the snapper-grouper fishery.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 18B to NOAA Fisheries for review, approval, and implementation. The Notice of Availability for public comment on this amendment published in the Federal Register on October 26, 2012. Comments will be accepted until December 26, 2012.

Amendment 18B proposes:
•An endorsement program for the commercial longline sector of the golden tilefish component of the snapper-grouper fishery. Only golden tilefish fishermen who meet certain landings criteria and also have a valid Unlimited South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Permit would receive an endorsement and be allowed to use longline gear to harvest golden tilefish.
•Establishment of longline landings criteria to determine who will receive endorsements.
•An appeals process for the golden tilefish endorsement program.
•Establishment of a procedure to allow transferability of golden tilefish endorsements.
•To allocate the commercial annual catch limit; 75% to the longline sector and 25% to the hook and line sector.
•Changes to the golden tilefish trip limit to remove the 300 pound gutted weight trip limit when 75% of the annual catch limit is caught.
•Establishment of 500 pound gutted weight trip limit for those who do not qualify for a golden tilefish endorsement.

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