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National Marine Fisheries Service

01/29/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/29/2021 10:44

Request for Comments: Add bullet mackerel and frigate mackerel to the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery Management Plan of the Atlantic as Ecosystem Component Species

KEY MESSAGE:

NOAA Fisheries requests your comments on Amendment 12 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic (Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 12). If implemented, Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 12 would add bullet mackerel and frigate mackerel to the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery Management Plan and designate them as ecosystem component species. Ecosystem component species are those that do not require conservation and management, but are deemed important to include in a fishery management plan to achieve ecosystem management objectives. Bullet mackerel and frigate mackerel are documented as important prey species particularly for wahoo, dolphin (to a lesser extent), blue marlin, and yellowfin tuna in the Atlantic Region. Comments are due by March 30, 2021.

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED CHANGES:

  • The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council wants to consider ecosystem management approaches to fisheries management and advance ecosystem management objectives in the Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plan.
  • If approved and implemented, Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 12 and the proposed rule could result in potential indirect benefits such as increased awareness among the fishing constituents, fishing communities, and fishery management agencies.
  • If landings for bullet mackerel and frigate mackerel were to greatly increase in the future to unsustainable levels, fisheries managers could be made aware of the changing stock status before the stocks are depleted which may have subsequent beneficial effects on populations of several economically important predatory fish species, including dolphin, wahoo, blue marlin, and yellowfin tuna.

HOW TO COMMENT ON NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY AND PROPOSED RULE:

The comment period for the notice of availability is open now through March 30, 2021. The comment period on the proposed rule is expected to fall within this same time frame, and comments on both the amendment and proposed rule will be considered in the final rule. You may submit comments by electronic submission (described below) or by postal mail. Comments received after the end of the comment period may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries.

FORMAL FEDERAL REGISTER NAME/NUMBER:86 FR 7524, published January 29, 2021Electronic Submissions:Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.

1. Go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2020-0146.

2. Click the 'Comment Now!' icon, complete the required fields.

3. Enter or attach your comments.

Mail:Submit written comments to Nikhil Mehta, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

Where can I find more information on Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 12?

NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

Sustainable Fisheries Division

263 13th Avenue South

St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505

By FAX:(727) 824-5308By Phone:(727) 824-5305

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