A federal agency is collecting public comment on a proposed rule to repeal the fishery management plan for stone crab in the Gulf of Mexico.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published the rule in the Federal Register July 20, opening a public comment period that continues through Aug. 19.
The rule mostly impacts Florida commercial stone crab fishers. The federal management plan, setting U.S. government quotas for crabbers, was implemented in 1979 to respond to competing gear use between stone crabbers and shrimpers, and only applies to federal Gulf of Mexico waters, not Florida waters.
In reviewing federal rules, NOAA’s fisheries service and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council examined the need for the federal stone crab management plan.
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