NACO

National Association of Charterboat Operators

Public Hearings on Draft Amendment 4

The Caribbean Fishery Management Council will hold two public hearings to obtain input from fishers, the general public, and the local agencies representatives on the Draft Amendment 4 to the Fishery Management Plan for Corals and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (dealing with seagrasses) and Draft Amendment 4 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (dealing with size limits for parrotfish); and one Scoping Meeting on Options for Island-Specific Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) in the U.S. Caribbean.

DATES: The public hearings and scoping meeting will be held in July. For specific dates and times see Supplementary Information under the heading Meetings, Dates, and Locations.

ADDRESSES: The public hearings and scoping meeting will be held in Puerto Rico and in the U.S. Virgin Islands. For specific locations see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION under the heading Meetings, Dates, and Locations.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 268 Mu[ntilde]oz Rivera Avenue, Suite 1108, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918-1920, telephone (787) 766-5926.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Meetings, Dates, and Locations

Puerto Rico

    July 23, 2012, DoubleTree by Hilton San Juan, 105 De Diego Avenue, 

San Juan, Puerto Rico 00914.

    July 24, 2012, Asociaci[oacute]n de Pescadores, Villa Pesquera 

Playa Hucar, 66.7 Km Highway 3 Naguabo, Puerto Rico 00718.

    July 25, 2012, Holiday Inn Mayag[uuml]ez, 2701 Highway 2, 

Mayag[uuml]ez, Puerto Rico 00680.

    July 26, 2012, Ponce Holiday Inn, 3315 Ponce by Pass, Ponce, Puerto 

Rico 00731.

U.S. Virgin Islands

    July 24, 2012, Windward Passage Hotel, Veterans Drive, Charlotte 

Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 00804.

    July 25, 2012, The Buccaneer Hotel, 5007 Estate Shoys, 

Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00820.

    The public hearings will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., for 

seagrass; from 7:10 p.m. to 8 p.m., for parrotfish; and the scoping 

meeting for island-specific management from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

    The Caribbean Fishery Management Council will hold two public 

hearings and one scoping meeting to receive public input on the 

following management alternatives:

Public Hearings

Draft Amendment 4 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish 

Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Public Hearing 

Dealing With Size Limits for Parrotfish)

Action 1: Alternatives for Parrotfish Commercial Size Limits

    Alternative 1: No Action: Do not establish minimum size limits for 

the commercial sector harvest of the parrotfish unit of the reef fish 

fishery.

    Alternative 2: Establish minimum size limits for the commercial 

sector harvest of the parrotfish unit of the reef fish fishery in St. 

Croix.

    No Commercial Minimum Size Limit

    a. 9 inches fork length (FL)

    b. 10 inches FL

    c. 11 inches FL

    d. 12 inches FL

    Alternative 3: Establish minimum size limits for the commercial 

sector harvest of the parrotfish unit of the reef fish fishery in St. 

Thomas/St. John.

    a. No Commercial Minimum Size Limit

    b. 9 inches FL

    c. 10 inches FL

    d. 11 inches FL

    e. 12 inches FL

    Alternative 4: Establish minimum size limits for the commercial 

sector harvest of the parrotfish unit of the reef fish fishery in 

Puerto Rico.

    a. No Commercial Minimum Size Limit

    b. 9 inches FL

    c. 10 inches FL

    d. 11 inches FL

    e. 12 inches FL

Action 2: Alternatives for Parrotfish Recreational Size Limits

    Alternative 1: No Action: Do not establish minimum size limits for 

the recreational sector of the parrotfish unit of the reef fish 

fishery.

    Alternative 2: Establish minimum size limits for the recreational 

sector harvest of the parrotfish unit of the reeffish fishery in St. 

Croix.

    No Recreational Minimum Size Limit

    a. 9 inches FL

    b. 10 inches FL

    c. 11 inches FL

    d. 12 inches FL

    Alternative 3: Establish minimum size limits for the recreational 

sector harvest of the parrotfish unit of the reef fish fishery in St. 

Thomas/St. John.

    a. No Recreational Minimum Size Limit

    b. 9 inches FL

    c. 10 inches FL

    d. 11 inches FL

    e. 12 inches FL

    Alternative 4: Establish minimum size limits for the recreational 

sector harvest of the parrotfish unit of the reef fish fishery in 

Puerto Rico.

    a. No Recreational Minimum Size Limit

    b. 9 inches FL

    c. 10 inches FL

    d. 11 inches FL

    e. 12 inches FL

 

Draft Amendment 4 to the Fishery Management Plan for Corals and Reef 

Associated Plants and Invertebrates of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin 

Islands (public hearing dealing with seagrasses)

Proposed Action

    The Caribbean Fishery Management Council proposes: To modify the 

management of seagrass species included in the Corals and Reef 

Associated Plants and Invertebrates Fishery Management Plan. There are 

four alternatives proposed for this action:

    Alternative 1: No Action. Do not modify the management of seagrass 

species listed in the Corals and Reef Associated Plants and 

Invertebrates Fishery Management Plan. Retain current management 

reference points or proxies for seagrass species.

    Alternative 2: Prohibit the harvest in the U.S. Caribbean exclusive 

economic zone of seagrass species listed in the Corals and Reef 

Associated Plants and Invertebrates Fishery Management Plan.

    Sub-Alternative 2(a): Prohibit harvest and establish an annual 

catch limit = 0 for seagrass species listed in the Corals and Reef 

Associated Plants and Invertebrates Fishery Management Plan.

    Sub-Alternative 2(b): Prohibit harvest and establish an annual 

catch limit = 1 lb. wet weight for the seagrass species 

listed in the Corals and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates 

Fishery Management Plan to account for harvest associated with 

educational or restoration purposes.

    Alternative 3: Designate the seagrass species listed in the Corals 

and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates Fishery Management Plan as 

Ecosystem Component species as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Act 

National Standard 1 Guidelines.

    Alternative 4: (Preferred) Remove all species of seagrass from the 

Corals and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates Fishery Management 

Plan

Scoping Meetings

Options for Island-Specific Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) in the U.S. Caribbean (scoping meeting)

Option 1--No Action

    Do not modify the existing species-specific FMPs. NOAA Fisheries 

and the Caribbean Council would continue to manage federal fisheries in 

the U.S. Caribbean EEZ under the Spiny Lobster, Reef Fish, Coral, and 

Queen Conch FMPs.

Option 2--The Four Island FMP Approach

    Create new island-specific FMPs for Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. 

Thomas, and St. John. Under this option, the Caribbean Council and NOAA 

Fisheries would manage the EEZ resources under separate FMPs for each 

of these islands.

Option 3--The Three Island FMP Approach

    Create three new island-specific FMPs for Puerto Rico, St. Croix 

and St. Thomas/St. John. The Caribbean Council and NOAA Fisheries would 

combine management of the St. Thomas and St. John EEZ resources. The 

St. Croix and Puerto Rico EEZ resources would be managed under separate 

FMPs.

Option 4--The Two Island FMP Approach-Puerto Rican Bank Approach

    This option would allow the Caribbean Council and NOAA Fisheries to 

develop two island-specific FMPs. The Caribbean Council and NOAA 

Fisheries would combine management of the Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and 

St. John EEZ resources but would manage the St. Croix EEZ resources 

under separate FMPs.

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