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Comprehensive Amendment to the U.S. Caribbean Fishery Management Plans: Application of Accountability Measures
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    The Comprehensive Amendment to the U.S. Caribbean Fishery Management Plans (FMPs): Application of Accountability Measures (AMs) would resolve an existing inconsistency between language in the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council) FMPs and the implementing regulations describing the application of AMs in the U.S. Caribbean exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The regulations describing AM application in the EEZ specify that AM-based closures are to remain in effect only during the particular fishing year in which they are implemented. However, the FMPs that implemented the AM closure regulatory language state that any AM-based closure will remain in effect until modified by the Council, thereby carrying these closures over from year to year unless, or until revised by subsequent Council action. This amendment would correct this inconsistency by revising the text within the four FMPs describing how AMs are to be applied to be consistent with the language in the regulations. Specifically, the phrase in the four FMPs that states “The needed changes will remain in effect until modified by the Council”, which describes how AMs are to be applied, will be removed from the four FMPs. The result of this proposed change would be that within both the FMPs and AM-based closure regulatory language, any AM closure would only apply for the fishing year in which it was implemented, which is consistent with the intent and implementing regulations used by NMFS and the Council to apply AMs in the U.S. Caribbean EEZ.
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