Tab J, No. 6 August 1st Draft of Offshore Aquaculture Amendment Gulf Council Meeting August 11-15, 2008 Key Largo, FL
Major Revisions to FMP (Tab J-4) • Document converted from an Amendment to a FMP 3.0 Purpose and Need • 7 objectives added 4.0 Management Alternatives • Changes proposed to alternatives by IPT • Socioeconomic/biological summaries revised • Action 10: Framework procedures added
Major Revisions to FMP (Tab J-4) 5.0 Affected Environment • Description of fishery added 6.0 Environmental Consequences - Biological/socioeconomic consequences revised - Sections 6.12 and 6.14-6.20 revised - Discussion of FMP requirements added (Section 6.13) 7.0 RIR and 8.0 IRFA - Both sections were entirely revised
Objectives • Provide for the development of environmentally sound and economically sustainable aquaculture fishery, consistent with the goals and objectives of the MSA. • To achieve OY, while not adversely affecting wild stocks, protected resources, and essential fish habitat. • To conserve and protect EFH through proper aquaculture facility siting. • To obtain necessary data and information for issuing aquaculture permits and monitoring potential impacts of aquaculture operations.
Objectives • To minimize user conflicts among aquaculture permit operations, comm. fishermen, and recreational anglers. • To prevent or mitigate to the extent practicable adverse impacts to wild stocks, protected resources, and EFH resulting from aquaculture activities. • To reduce the nation's dependence on imports by supplementing wild domestic harvest with cultured products to meet growing U.S. consumer demand.
Action 1: Aquaculture Permit Requirements, Eligibility, and Transferability (pg. 19) • The following requirements were added to Preferred Alternative 2: • An aquaculture permit authorizes a person to land at a U.S. port species cultured in the Gulf. • Prohibits landing of cultured species at non-U.S. port. • A dealer permit is required to receive cultured organisms. • Definitions for U.S. citizen and permanent resident alien provided as footnotes. • Dealer reporting requirements included in Table 4.1.2 (pg. 23).
Action 2: Application Requirements, Operational Requirements, and Restrictions (pg. 29) • Major revisions and additions include: • Alt 3(a)(2)(v): Only hatcheries located in the U.S. may provide juvenile organisms for grow-out. • Alt 3(a)(2)(ix) – Requires permittees describe protected resources, EFH, and wild marine organisms at the aquaculture site, including their abundance and distribution. • Alt 3(a)(xii) – Allows NMFS to sample cultured organisms to determine genetic lineage. NMFS may order the removal of all cultured organisms if they have been genetically modified or are transgenic.
Action 2: Application Requirements, Operational Requirements, and Restrictions (pg. 29) • Major revisions and additions include: • Alt 3(b)(6): Requires compliance with monitoring and reporting requirements specified in ACOE and EPA permits. • Alt 3(b)(7): Requires permittees inspect allowable aquaculture systems for entanglements or interactions with marine mammals or protected species. • Alt 3(b)(10): Language was modified to allow possession of wild organisms within an aquaculture restricted access zone for hatchery purposes.
Action 3: Permit Duration (pg. 43) • No changes were made to the range of alternatives.
Action 4: Species Allowed (pg. 47) • Species that all allowable species will be included in the Aquaculture fishery management unit.
Action 5: Allowable Marine Aquaculture Systems (pg. 52) • No changes were made to the range of alternatives.
Action 6: Marine Aquaculture Siting Requirements and Conditions (pg. 56) • Preferred Alternative 3(d) was added: Provide NMFS with a video survey of benthic habitat at the proposed marine aquaculture site.
Action 7: Restricted Access Zones (pg. 66) • In Preferred Alternative 3(e), the reference to seagrasses was replaced with “important fishery habitats.” • No other changes were made to the alternatives.
Action 8: Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements (pg. 68) Revisions: • Alt 2(b) – Specifies permittees maintain monitoring reports from other federal agencies for 3 years. • Alt 2(c)(1) – The definition for major escapement was changed to reflect Council recommendations in June. • Alt 2(c)(2) – Additional requirements were added for reporting when an entanglement or interaction occurs.
Action 8: Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements (pg. 68) Revisions: • Alt 2(d) – Allows NMFS to order the removal of all cultured organisms if a suspected disease or pathogens exist, which pose a threat to the health of wild organisms. • Alts 2(h) and 2(i) – Should the notification timeframes for harvest and landing be extended from 24 to 72 hours? • Alt 2(k) – Requires permittees to maintain a daily record of the number of cultured animals introduced or removed from each grow-out system, including mortalities.
Action 8: Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements (pg. 68) • Alt 2(m) – This alternative was partially duplicative of Alt. 3(a)(2)(v) in Action 2. Duplicative text was deleted. • Alt 2(n) – Requires a permittee to submit a report to the RA after broodstock collection is complete. • Alt 2(o) – Describes modifications to recordkeeping and reporting requirements during catastrophic conditions. • Discussion of electronic reporting was added (pg. 72)
Action 9: Biological Reference Points and Status Determination Criteria (pg. 78) • The Council’s preferred alternatives for MSY, OY, and production capacity were specified.
Action 10: Framework Procedures (pg. 83) • New action • Intended to provide timelier process for implementing regulations. • Alternatives 2 and 3 would establish an Aquaculture Advisory Panel.
Action 10: Framework Procedures (pg. 83) • annual planned production levels relative to MSY/OY. • the status of marine resources and whether or not their status is adversely affected by aquaculture through: • diseases and pathogens • changes in water quality and benthic loading • entanglements and interactions • escapement • other factors • Economic and social effects of aquaculture on fishing communities The advisory panel would meet annually and review:
Action 10: Framework Procedures (pg. 83) Panel recommendations would be provided to the Council. The Council could then recommend regulatory changes to NMFS:
Action 10: Framework Procedures (pg. 83) • Under Alt. 3, the Council would submit to NMFS: • a report from the Aquaculture AP • any relevant public comments • a regulatory amendment • Alt. 2 would not require submission of a regulatory amendment. • Both alternatives would continue to allow numerous opportunities for public comment.