| Secretarial amendment to establish annual catch limits and accountability measures for the small-mesh multispecies fishery : environmental assessment, including a regulatory impact review - :4477 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Secretarial amendment to establish annual catch limits and accountability measures for the small-mesh multispecies fishery : environmental assessment, including a regulatory impact review
  • Published Date:
    2012
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Secretarial amendment to establish annual catch limits and accountability measures for the small-mesh multispecies fishery : environmental assessment, including a regulatory impact review
Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Northeast Region, ; United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of Program Planning and Integration, ;
  • Description:
    "NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has prepared a Secretarial Amendment, under the authority of Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) section 304(c)1)(A), for the small-mesh multispecies component of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The Secretarial Amendment is intended to establish a mechanism for specifying annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for silver hake, red hake, and offshore hake, collectively known as 'small-mesh multispecies.' There are two stocks each of silver and red hake (northern and southern), and one stock of offshore hake. Offshore hake are primarily caught incidentally in the southern silver hake fishery and they are marketed together as 'whiting.' The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is responsible for managing the small-mesh multispecies fishery through the Northeast Multispecies FMP and initiated the development of an amendment in 2009 (Amendment 19) to that management plan to implement ACLs and AMs for the small-mesh multispecies. However, development of Amendment 19 was delayed in order to incorporate the results from a stock assessment of all three species that occurred in November 2010 (Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) 51.) The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires the establishment of the ACL and AM framework by 2011. NMFS is developing this action to meet that deadline and bring the small-mesh multispecies fishery into compliance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act. While the Secretarial Amendment does not have an expiration date, and would be in effect until Amendment 19, if approved, replaces it, NMFS intends for this amendment to act as a bridge for the small-mesh multispecies fishery and does not address the full suite of measures that the Council is developing for Amendment 19. In order to minimize confusion and ease the transition between the two amendments, NMFS chose as the preferred alternatives the most general and flexible from the Council's preliminary list of alternatives for Amendment 19. The Secretarial Amendment also proposes the same ACL framework mechanism that the Council is analyzing for Amendment 19, which is based on recommendations from the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SCC)"--Executive summary (page i).

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