Southeast Regional Office of the National Marine Fisheries
Service is waiting for the approval of Amendment 13 to the
fishery management plan for the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery.
amendment deals with a 10-year moratorium on the issuance
of new federal permits for vessels operating in the Gulf
shrimp fishery. If this proposed plan is implemented, the
permits office will be in the business of replacing the
current open-access permits with moratorium permits.
hundred and fifty days would be allotted for the turnover
period. Afterwards, moratorium permits will be the only
valid permit to operate in the Gulf shrimp fishery. Those
not renewing their permits and exchanging them within this
time frame will not have a valid permit.
proposed rule to implement Amendment 13 was published April
5 and was open for public comment through May 22.
commercial shrimp permitting program in the Gulf of Mexico
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) was implemented Dec. 6, 2002.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council established
Dec. 6, 2003, as the control date since it is one year after
the commercial shrimp permit requirement was implemented.
A control date alerts the public that the council may consider
limited entry into a fishery and may use the control date
as qualifying criteria for participation in the fishery.
Once Amendment 13 is implemented, owners of vessels who
qualify for a moratorium permit will have one year to acquire
a permit. However, if a person is shrimping, the permit
is needed 150 days after the effective date.
vessels active in the fishery prior to Dec. 6, 2003, will
be allowed to continue participating in the fishery. However,
moratorium permits will be fully transferable. Permit owners
who want to sell their moratorium permit may, and fishermen
who do not have a moratorium permit can buy one to gain
access to the fishery.
years, NOAA’s fisheries management agencies have said
that the Gulf shrimp fishery is overcapitalized; meaning,
fewer vessels could harvest the available shrimp at a more
profitable level. Basically, the number of vessels and the
fishing power of the vessels have increased, while the level
of landings has been stable resulting in each participant
“having a smaller piece of the pie.”
moratorium will assist the economic recovery of the fishery
by addressing unnecessary effort. Should an unexpected increase
in profitability occur in the near future due to decreased
fuel costs or a substantial rise in shrimp prices, the moratorium
permit will not allow unnecessary effort back into the fishery,
allowing those with a moratorium permit to be more profitable.
more information, visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/shrimp/shrimp13faqs.htm.
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