General Cat Sword permit

greg

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from another site - looks like CHB is automatically permitted and FL gets a big Zero.....

NOAA is filing a final rule that will give additional opportunities to U.S. fishermen to fish swordfish using selective handgear (rod and reel, handline, harpoon, bandit gear, greenstick), known to have low levels of bycatch. The goal of the rule is to more fully use our domestic swordfish quota allocation, which is based upon the recommendation of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)

The North Atlantic swordfish stock is one of the success stories of international fisheries management. It is fully rebuilt due to ongoing domestic and international conservation measures designed to reduce mortality, protect juvenile swordfish, monitor international trade, reduce bycatch, and improve data collection. Several strong year classes in the late 1990s, and an overall reduction in catch since 1987, have helped recover the stock. This success has allowed NOAA Fisheries to provide additional commercial fishing opportunities in the North Atlantic swordfish fishery.

This action establishes a new open-access commercial swordfish handgear permit (Swordfish General Commercial permit) similar to the existing Atlantic Tunas General category permit. The new permit will be available for application in late November 2013 for the 2014 fishing year. Effective upon issuance of a 2014 permit, Highly Migratory Species Charter/Headboat vessel permit holders would also be authorized to fish with rod and reel and handline under open-access swordfish commercial retention limits when not on a for-hire trip.

This action establishes regional management for this permit, allowing for in-season adjustments to the retention limits in each region. The geographic range of the regions are based upon large reporting areas ((Northwest Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean) with the addition of a separate Florida Swordfish Management Area.
The initial regional swordfish retention limits are as follows:

-Florida Swordfish Management Area: zero swordfish per vessel per trip
-U.S. Caribbean: two swordfish per vessel per trip
-Northwest Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Regions: three swordfish per vessel per trip

The Florida Swordfish Management Area has been modified from the proposed rule due to its unique importance as a swordfish migratory corridor and as juvenile swordfish habitat. The northern boundary has been moved from Jekyll Island, GA, to Cocoa Beach, FL.

The retention limit within each region can be adjusted in-season based on pre-established criteria (i.e., dealer reports, quota availability, landing trends, availability of swordfish on the fishing grounds, variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or swordfish migration patterns, and other relevant factors).
 

greg

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