In May 2017, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved new requirements to improve compliance and increase management flexibility in the Gulf of Mexico individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs. One change will require all reef fish permit holders to land at locations pre-approved by NOAA Fisheries Service’s Office of Law Enforcement (OLE).
In anticipation of this requirement, NOAA Fisheries is encouraging reef fish permit holders to now submit additional landing locations now for pre-approval. Landing locations may be submitted by calling Catch Share Customer Support at (866) 425-7627 (option 2) or by mailing the attached form to 263 13th Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, FL 33701. Only pre-approved landing locations would be legal for landing any reef fish species.
- A list of currently approved landing locations can be found at the Southeast Regional Office Web site and a map can be found at the Catch Share Web site. If your landing location is on this list, you do not need to submit a new one.
- Submission of a new landing location must contain a contact name and phone number, a location name, and the location’s street address, unless there is no street address on record. If a particular landing location has no street address on record, global positioning system (GPS) coordinates for an identifiable geographic location must be provided in decimal degrees.
- Landing locations must be publicly accessible by land and water. No other condition may impede free and immediate access to the site by an authorized law enforcement officer or port agent. Examples of which include, but are not limited to: A locked gate, fence, wall, or other barrier preventing 24-hour access to the site; a gated community entry point; a guard animal; a posted sign restricting access to the site; or any other physical deterrent. Other criteria may also be used by OLE when approving locations.
- Any new landing location would be approved only at the end of each calendar-year quarter. To have a landing location approved by the end of the calendar-year quarter, it would have to be submitted at least 45 days before the end of the calendar-year quarter.
- For more information on the regulation changes, please visit the Southeast Regional Office Web site.