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Southeast Fishery Bulletin

National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701


727-824-5305, FAX 727-824-5308 FB10-009



NOAA Fisheries Service has announced in the Federal Register (75 FR 5950-5952, February 5, 2010) the receipt of two applications for exempted fishing permits (EFPs). NOAA Fisheries Service is seeking public comment on the two applications through March 8, 2010.

One application is from the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. (Foundation). The application requests authority for observers aboard shrimp trawlers to retain as many as 500 finfish and invertebrate species managed by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (Councils) where possession otherwise would be prohibited by regulation. The EFP would be effective March 15, 2010, through July 31, 2011. Specimens would be retained only in the event of the need for subsequent shore-side identification or as documentation of quality assurance in the data collection process.

The second application is from Mr. Thomas Haugen, a commercial reef fish fisherman. If granted, the EFP would authorize the applicant to use unauthorized experimental fish traps in the eastern Gulf of Mexico that are intended to selectively limit the size and species targeted. Evaluations of the selectivity of the unauthorized gear would be made over a one-year period while the applicant fishes under his commercial reef fish permit and individual fishing quota allocation. All tests would be conducted with guidance by NOAA Fisheries Service?s Southeast Fisheries Science Center.

NOAA Fisheries Service finds these applications warrant further consideration. A final decision on issuance of the EFPs will depend on NOAA Fisheries Service?s review of public comments received on the applications; consultations with the affected states, the Councils, and the U.S. Coast Guard; and a determination that the proposed activities are consistent with all applicable laws.

Comments may be submitted before 5 p.m., eastern time, on March 8, 2010, for either EFP application by the following methods:
  1. <LI>? E-mail: [email protected]. Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: "FND EFP" or "Haugen EFP". </LI>
  1. <LI>? Mail: Steve Branstetter, Southeast Regional Office, NOAA Fisheries Service, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida, 33701. </LI>
  1. <LI>? Fax: 727-824-5308, with a cover sheet indicating "FND EFP" or "Haugen EFP". </LI>

This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the applications. Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the applications as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.

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I hope they deny request #2 unless these fish traps somehow have an automatic release mechanism that permits the fish to escape if the trap isn't recovered in x number of hours. The problem I see with fish traps is that when the bouy marker is run over or somehow seperated from the pullline, the trap just continues to kill fish for months until it finally rusts away.
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