NMFS has announced that the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils have submitted an Omnibus Amendment to the Fishery Management Plans of the Northeastern United States to simplify vessel baselines. This amendment incorporates a draft Environmental Assessment and preliminary Regulatory Impact Review, for review and approval by the Secretary of Commerce, and NMFS is requesting comments from the public. The Omnibus Amendment to Simplify Vessel Baselines would eliminate the one-time limit on vessel upgrades and remove gross and net tonnages from vessel baseline specifications considered when determining a vessel’s baseline for replacement purposes. Implementing these measures would reduce the administrative burden to permit holders and NMFS, and would have little effect on fleet capacity. This action would also remove the requirement for vessels to send in negative fishing reports (i.e., ‘‘did not fish’’ reports) during months or weeks when fishing did not occur.
Click here for additional details and instructions for submitting comments.
Comments may be submitted through July 17, 2015.