The following was released by NOAA Fisheries on November 14:
On November 7, 2013, NOAA Fisheries, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, partially approved Amendment 14 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan.
A notice of availability soliciting public comments on Amendment 14 was published on August 12, 2013, with a comment period ending October 11, 2013. A proposed rule was published on August 29, 2013, with the same comment period end date. A total of 15 comments were received and considered in making the decision to partially approve Amendment 14; five of the comments were form letters and contained thousands of signatures and personalized comments from individuals. A summary of the comments received, and NOAA Fisheries’ responses to those comments, will be published in the final rule implementing Amendment 14.
Amendment 14 will improve the catch monitoring program for the MSB fisheries with a focus on better evaluation of incidental catch of river herring and shad, and address river herring and shad bycatch issues in the mackerel fishery.