NOAA Requests Comments on Atlantic Cobia Rules

NOAA Fisheries requests comments on Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagics (CMP) of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region and a proposed rule for Atlantic group cobia. Atlantic cobia is managed from Georgia through New York.

The proposed action would remove Atlantic cobia from the fishery management plan. If removed, Atlantic cobia would be managed under the purview of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASFMC) because the majority of Atlantic cobia landings are in state waters.

Comments are due by December 10, 2018

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED CHANGES:

  • The proposed action would remove Atlantic cobia from the CMP.
  • Most existing management measures in federal waters for commercial and recreational harvest of Atlantic cobia from Georgia through New York would not change through this amendment.
  • For the commercial sector, the minimum size limit is 33 inches fork length and the trip limit is two fish per person per day or six fish per vessel per day, whichever is more restrictive.
  • For the recreational sector, the minimum size limit is 36 inches fork length and the bag and vessel limits are one fish per person per day or six fish per vessel per day, whichever is more restrictive.For both sectors, persons harvesting Atlantic cobia must comply with more restrictive size limits, bag limits, and possession limits in the states where the fish are landed.
  • Regulations in Federal waters would be promulgated through Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act.
  • Fishermen should contact the state for regulations in state waters.

HOW TO COMMENT ON THE AMENDMENT AND PROPOSED RULE:

The comment period is open through December 10, 2018. We will address all comments specifically directed to the amendment and proposed rule in the final rule. You may submit comments by electronic submission or by postal mail.

Comments sent by any other method (such as e-mail), to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries.

FORMAL FEDERAL REGISTER NAME/NUMBER: 83 FR 48788, published September 27, 2018

Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.

1. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0114.

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

3. Enter or attach your comments.

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