WEST COAST–A federal final ruler determining brand-new closure the standard rules on the California and Oregon drift gillnet fishery for swordfish and thresher sharks will go into effect on March 9. The final convention was announced in response to a federal court ruling in January.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration( NOAA) and National Marine Fisheries Service( NMFS) announced they are, for the purposes of the Magnuson-Stevens Act( MSA ), authorized to implement the “immediate closure” of the California and Oregon drift gillnet fishery( 14 -inch minimum mesh width) for swordfish and thresher shark.
Closures would be implemented if the hard ceiling on fatality/ hurt for protected genus was met during a wheel two-year period.
“The length of shutdown will be dependent on when the hard cap is reached, ” NOAA staff stated in the final ruler document, which was published on FederalRegister.gov on Feb. 7. “The implementation of hard caps is intended to manage the fishery under the MSA to protect sure-fire non-target species.”
The drift gillnet fishery has been closed inside the entire U.S. West Coast exclusive financial area, between Feb. 1 and April 30, since 1982. Another shutdown was initiated in 1986, deterring the impetu gillnet fishery off limits from inside 75 miles of the California mainland, between June 1 and Aug. 14. The 1986 shutdown aimed to conserve the common thresher shark person, and, by 1990, was extended to include May.
NMFS staff would also expand restraints to protect endangered leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles.
“The number of active pots in the[ drift gillnet] fishery has remained[ at less than] 50 vessels since 2003, with an average of 20 active tanks per year from 2010 through 2018, ” NOAA staff stated in its final govern document.
Protected hard caps became a part of the policy direction in 2012. The remit of hard-cap protection expanded from sea turtle interactions to all marine mammals by 2014.
The hard-cap policy continued to gain momentum through 2016. NMFS, that time, nominated a plan of action to include two-year rolling hard-handed caps based on seen fatality/ injury. The proposed standard, however, was withdrawn in June 2017, due to what NMFS described as duplication and inconsistency.
A federal lawsuit was initiated one month last-minute and culminated in a finding issued on Jan. 8 of this year.
“The court ordered NMFS to publish a final settle for hard caps by Feb. 7, 2020, ” the NOAA final regulate substantiate territory. “The order also states that NMFS shall consult with the Pacific Fisheries Management Council … before making such a revisions to the proposed regulations.”
Members of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, however, aren’t meeting until March, symbolizing the court order made the issue before NMFS staff could consult with the council on possible revisions.
NMFS, accordingly, published the hard ceilings regulations as originally proposed, as directed by the court order. NOAA territory NMFS staff would follow up and engage with the council on the fiscal the consequences of the hard-cap regulation, as part of a separate rulemaking.
Public comment on the final rule will be accepted through March 23.
NOAA staff added a specific distinction about the intent of the final regulation( and hard-cap regulation ): the mandated restraints administer a fishery, as resisted organizing a category population.
“The implementation of hard-bitten covers is intended to manage the fishery under the MSA to protect sure-fire non-target species, ” the NOAA final govern document territory. “Its purpose is not to manage marine mammal or endangered species populations, but instead to enhance the provisions of the Endangered Species Act … and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.”
Read more: fishrapnews.com.