Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Meeting

The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) will meet to discuss and provide advice on issues outlined in the agenda below.

The meeting is scheduled for August 20, 2012, 3-5 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Strategic Plan 2013-2017

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announces the availability of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Strategic Plan 2013--2017 (Plan), approved by the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF). The Plan is available for public review and comment.

Comments must be received within 45 days after September 20, 2012.

White House Asks Businesses to Identify Burdensome Regulations

On July 18, 2012, The White House opened up its regulatory reform effort to the public, launching a website for tips on how the government can streamline or eliminate regulations. In 2011 the President directed all executive agencies to undertake a government-wide review of regulations on the books, in order to figure out what is working and what is not. This will help streamline or eliminate ineffective, overly burdensome and outdated rules. Over two dozen agencies responded with regulatory reform plans, listing more than 800 initiatives. The Administration is now asking for businesses to send them comments identifying burdensome regulations. It is important that small businesses participate in this effort to point out regulations that are problematic and hinder important growth. Please submit comments to the White House click here  http://www.whitehouse.gov/advise

EPA Approves Last Step to Allow E15

Contrary to numerous studies that have shown ethanol to be hazardous to marine engines, the Environmental Protection Agency recently approved a plan submitted by the ethanol industry that effectively completes the last step in the regulatory process and allows E15 to enter the marketplace. There are serious and well-documented human safety, environmental, and technological concerns associated with ethanol blends over 10 percent in recreational boat fuel tanks and engines. That means that anything above E10 can pose serious problems, including performance issues like stalling, corrosion leading to oil or fuel leaks, increased emissions and damaged valves, rubber fuel lines and gaskets.

NACO, NMMA, the oil industry, food groups and other stakeholders have continued to oppose the introduction of E15.

Gulf Oil Spill: BP Focused On Too Many Details, Not Big Picture, Safety Panel Concludes

BP and the drilling contractor it hired to operate the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon focused too closely on workers' personal safety at the expense of preventing major hazards, such as those that ultimately caused the rig to blow up in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 people, federal investigators said.

Final Rule to Modify Angler Registry Rule

Based on its experience with administering the National Saltwater Angler Registry and State Exemption Program (NSAR) and input from states and the National Saltwater Angler Registry Team, NMFS has made minor revisions to the NSAR regulations. These revisions are needed to clarify and update certain provisions as follows:

Action Needed Now To Exempt Charter Boats!

Dear NACO Member, 

The clean water act bill introduced by Senator Begich now has a number and can be referenced. We need all NACO members to contact their respective Senators and ask for their support of S3332. This bill has the below provision that will permanently exempt all charter vessels, both uninspected and USCG COI, less than 79’ from the EPA clean water NPDES vessel discharges requirements. Currently there is a moratorium on these requires until Dec 2013, but this legislation must be passed and signed into law in order to have a permanent exemption. EPA has insisted that our vessels not be exempt so the passage of this bill is critical. The permitting, paper work, requirements, and potential liability that we will have if required to comply will be devastating to our businesses. Several of your Board members have been actively working on this issue in DC and with other fishing associations. 

This bill is gaining cosponsors in the senate as I write this. Senator Feinstein is opposed but many other democrats are supporting the bill. If you need the contact info for your Senators, please contact the NACO office. Action needs to be taken ASAP as the current session ends August 3rd. Congress will be back in session on September 10. Please act today!

Thanks,

Capt. Bob Zales, II

President

On page 26 under section 7, exemptions, it states: 

IN GENERAL.—No permit shall be required or prohibition enforced under any other provision of law for,  nor shall any vessel incidental discharge standards under this Act apply to—

(1) a discharge incidental to the normal operation of a vessel if the vessel is less than 79 feet in length and engaged in commercial service (as defined in section 2101(5) of title 46, United States Code);

(2) a discharge incidental to the normal operation of a vessel if the vessel is a fishing vessel, including a fish processing vessel and a fish tender vessel, (as defined in section 2101 of title 46, United States Code);

(3) a discharge incidental to the normal operation of a vessel if the vessel is a recreational vessel  (as defined in section 2101 of title 46, United States Code);

NACO

P.O. Box 2990

Orange beach, AL 36561

PH: 866-981-5136

Fax: 251-981-8191

So You Want To Be A Charter Boat Captain

If you currently do not have a license and are interested in becoming a “Charter Boat Captain, ” you can achieve this goal by obtaining a variety of licenses, as detailed below.
  • Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) or “6-Pack” License – This license is most appropriate for un-inspected passenger vessels which by law are limited to six or less passengers for hire. These are usually smaller vessels and normally engage in charter fishing, whale watching, SCUBA diving, and tour cruises. This license is limited to near coastal waters only not more than 100 miles offshore and is not valid for international voyages.
  • OUPV Limited License – Also known as Limited Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels. This is commonly known as a “launchtender license” and is issued to those employed by organizations such as yacht clubs, marinas, formal camps, and educational institutions, limited to the specific activity and locality.
  • Limited Master License (less than 100 gross register tons) – This is the same license as the 46 CFR 11.467 Limited Master, but is issued to those who operate Coast Guard inspected vessels.
  • Master 200 Ton and Below Near Coastal License (less than 200 gross register tons and only for 25, 50, 100, 150, 200 gross register tons) – This license is most appropriate for operating small passenger vessels that hold a USCG Certificate of Inspection and carry more than six passengers. Typical vessels include charter boats (head boats), small ferries, dinner boats, and whale watch vessels.        
  • Master 200 Ton and Below Inland License (less than 200 gross register tons and only for 25, 50, 100, 150, 200 gross register tons) – This license is most appropriate for operating small passenger vessels that hold a USCG Certificate of Inspection and carry more than six passengers. Typical vessels include charter boats (head boats), small ferries, dinner boats, and whale watch vessels.        
 

Plan for Periodic Review of Regulations

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) periodically review existing regulations that have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, such as small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. This plan describes how NMFS will perform this review and describes the regulations that are being proposed for review during the current review-cycle.

Written comments must be received by NMFS by August 15, 2012.

National Sea Grant Advisory Board

This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the National Sea Grant Advisory Board. Board members will discuss and provide advice on the National Sea Grant College Program in the areas of program evaluation, strategic planning, education and extension, science and technology programs, and other matters as described in the Agenda below.

The announced meeting is scheduled for: Monday, August 6 2012.