Tab J, No. 2
1 GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
3 JOINT REEF FISH/MACKEREL/RED DRUM COMMITTEE
5 Hilton Key Largo Hotel Key Largo, Florida
7 August 13, 2008
9 VOTING MEMBERS
10 Karen Foote (designee for Randy Pausina)................Louisiana
11 Kevin Anson (designee for Vernon Minton)..................Alabama
12 Roy Crabtree..................NMFS, SERO, St. Petersburg, Florida
13 Robert Gill...............................................Florida
14 Joe Hendrix.................................................Texas
15 Julie Morris..............................................Florida
16 Harlon Pearce...........................................Louisiana
17 Michael Ray.................................................Texas
18 Robin Riechers (designee for Larry McKinney)................Texas
19 William Teehan (designee for Ken Haddad)..................Florida
20 Susan Villere...........................................Louisiana
21 Bobbi Walker..............................................Alabama
22 Kay Williams..........................................Mississippi
24 NON-VOTING MEMBERS
25 Elizabeth Keister (designee for RADM Whitehead)..................
26 8th Coast Guard District, New Orleans, LA
27 Doug Fruge.........................U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
28 Tom McIlwain..........................................Mississippi
29 William Perret (designee for William Walker)..........Mississippi
30 Ed Sapp...................................................Florida
31 Bob Shipp.................................................Alabama
32 Larry Simpson...............................................GSMFC
35 Steven Atran.....................Population Dynamics Statistician
36 Assane Diagne...........................................Economist
37 Trish Kennedy............................Administrative Assistant
38 Rick Leard..............................Acting Executive Director
39 Shepherd Grimes..............................NOAA General Counsel
40 Charlene Ponce.........................Public Information Officer
41 Cathy Readinger............................Administrative Officer
42 Carrie Simmons..................................Fishery Biologist
43 Wayne Swingle..................................Executive Director
44 Tina O’Hern....................................Travel Coordinator
46 OTHER PARTICIPANTS
47 Greg Abrams.......................................Panama City, FL
48 Jeff Barger......................................................
1 Cliff Beard..................................................USCG
2 Charlie Bergman................................................MS
3 Sean Black.......................................Marco Island, FL
4 Heather Blough...............................................NMFS
5 Steve Branstetter..................................NOAA Fisheries
6 Glen Brooks....................................GFA, Bradenton, FL
7 Jim Clements.......................................Carrabelle, FL
8 John Cole...............................................Bryan, TX
9 Marianne Cufone..............................Food and Water Watch
10 Glen Delaney...........Southern Shrimp Alliance, Washington, D.C.
11 Carmen DeGeorge..............................................USCG
12 Chris Dorsett.......................Ocean Conservancy, Austin, TX
13 Tracy Dunn...................................................NOAA
14 Libby Fetherston...............................St. Petersburg, FL
15 Ted Forsgren......................................Tallahassee, FL
16 Benny Gallaway...............LGL Ecological Associates, Bryan, TX
17 George Geiger...............................................SAFMC
18 Susan Gerhart................................................NOAA
19 Rick Hart.....................................NMFS, Galveston, TX
20 Bill Kelly.....Islamorada Charterboat Association, Islamorada, FL
21 Christina Lizzi..............................Food and Water Watch
22 Ron Lukens........................Omega Protein, High Springs, FL
23 Vishwanie Maharaj...............Environmental Defense, Austin, TX
24 Koyel Mandel........................Ocean Conservancy, Austin, TX
25 Jim Nance.....................................NMFS, Galveston, TX
26 Russell Nelson..............................CCA, Oakland Park, FL
27 Dennis O’Hern.............................FRA, St. Petersburg, FL
28 Pat O’Shaughnessy............................................USCG
29 Bonnie Ponwith.........................................NOAA SEFSC
30 Dean Pruitt....................................................FL
31 Tracy Redding.............................AAA Charters, Foley, AL
32 Bob Spaeth..............Southern Offshore Fishing Association, FL
33 Andy Strelcheck..............................................NMFS
34 Brian Sullivan...............................................USCG
35 Ed Swindell...........................................Hammond, LA
36 Bill Tucker...........................................Dunedin, FL
37 Tom Wheatley.....................Marine Fish Conservation Network
38 Larry Yarborough.............................................USCG
39 Bob Zales, II, .....Panama City Boatmen’s Assoc., Panama City, FL
41 - - -
43 The Joint Reef Fish/Mackerel/Red Drum Committee of the Gulf of
44 Mexico Fishery Management Council convened in the Largo Ballroom
45 of the Hilton Key Largo Hotel, Key Largo, Florida, Wednesday
46 morning, August 13, 2008, and was called to order at 8:30
47 o’clock a.m. by Chairman Karen Foote.
1 CHAIRMAN KAREN FOOTE: Welcome to the Joint Reef
2 Fish/Mackerel/Red Drum Committee meeting. We have three
3 committees here meeting as a whole, which means one vote per
4 person if you’re on the committee. That’s the way we’ve usually
5 done it. The first thing we have is the Adoption of the Agenda.
6 Are there any changes?
8 ADOPTION OF AGENDA AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES
10 MR. BOB GILL: I note that they included Mr. Daughdrill as a
11 member of the Mackerel Committee and that is not quite accurate.
13 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: A fine member he was, but -- Any other changes
14 to the agenda? Seeing none, the agenda stands adopted.
15 Approval of the Minutes, Tab J, Number 2. It’s moved and
16 seconded to adopt the minutes. Any objection? Seeing none, the
17 minutes stand adopted.
19 Now we’ll move into the very revised Aquaculture FMP, Tab J,
20 Number 4, and Andy has a presentation on this. Andy, if you
21 would walk us through that, please.
23 REVISED AQUACULTURE FMP
25 MR. ANDY STRELCHECK: While we’re waiting for the presentation
26 to be put up on the screen, what I want to do is walk you
27 through the changes that we’ve made to the fishery management
28 plan since the last meeting.
30 We’ll be going over some new objectives from the plan, since
31 this was converted to an amendment to a fishery management plan
32 between meetings, and then like we’ve done in several past
33 meetings, I want to go through each action one-by-one and
34 describe some of the additional recommendations by the
35 interdisciplinary planning team and have you consider those for
36 inclusion in the document.
38 For those of you that have hard copies or are looking at the
39 document on the screen, additions that have been made by the
40 interdisciplinary planning team are highlighted in yellow or
41 shaded in gray, if it’s a black-and-white copy, so you can
42 follow along. I put page numbers in the presentation and so
43 hopefully you can find where I’m at as I’m going through the
46 The IPT after the last meeting was tasked with changing this
47 from an amendment to a fishery management plan and that required
48 some significant revisions. In addition to just converting it
1 to a fishery management plan, we had not updated numerous
2 sections of the document since December of 2007 and so those
3 sections were updated.
5 The next couple of slides just provide a brief overview of what
6 changes were made. The purpose and need was modified
7 previously. We discussed this document in the context of
8 modifying other fishery management plans, as this was an
9 amendment, and therefore, we were referring to objectives of
10 other fishery management plans and how they would interplay with
13 We’ve now come up with a new range of objectives that are
14 specific to this fishery management plan, which I’ll over in a
15 couple of slides. In the management alternatives section, as I
16 mentioned, we have proposed some additional alternatives and
17 changes to the range of alternatives and I’ll go over each of
20 Previously, we had not updated the socioeconomic discussions in
21 this section and so those were updated and then biological
22 summaries were also revised and then we added a new action for
23 council consideration that addresses framework procedures and
24 this is specific to the issue of this document becoming a
25 fishery management plan.
27 We felt the need to include framework procedures for a process
28 that might allow a little bit timelier implementation of certain
29 regulatory actions, as well as provide a review process for
30 essentially monitoring the aquaculture program over time.
32 In Section 5, the Affected Environment, we added a description
33 of the fishery, which is very challenging, given that it isn’t a
34 fishery that exists right now. We tried to use examples of
35 operations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well
36 as information that’s published in peer reviewed literature.
38 For the environmental consequences section, pretty much
39 everything from start to finish was updated in this section.
40 This section hadn’t been rewritten since December and so we
41 wanted to get this up to date and the same is true for the
42 economic analyses in both Sections 7 and 8. We’ve been busy,
43 obviously, as an interdisciplinary planning team trying to get
44 this document completed.
46 As I mentioned, there’s seven new objectives. Only the first
47 objective was included in this document previously. The other
48 six have been developed by the IPT and I won’t read these on the
1 screen, but I would ask that you look at them and if you have
2 any comments on them to please let me know. For those of you
3 who want to look at the objectives, they’re listed at the bottom
4 of page 16, carrying over to page 17.
6 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Any discussion on the objectives as written
9 MR. SHEPHERD GRIMES: I’m sorry I didn’t comment about this
10 earlier, Mr. Strelcheck, but I was thinking perhaps we should
11 put something in there related to enforcement, because
12 enforcement of aquacultured species and those regulations versus
13 wild-caught species may end up being somewhat of an issue. It’s
14 certainly something the document is heavily concerned with.
16 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Do you have any wording to suggest for
17 committee consideration, Shep?
19 MR. GRIMES: I can work on that, but that was just kind of off
20 the cuff there.
22 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Raise your hand whenever you have a suggestion
23 for it. Any further discussion on these objectives or need for
24 additional objectives? Would you like to adopt these objectives
25 or not?
27 MR. HARLON PEARCE: I’ll make a motion that we adopt these
28 objectives. They look pretty straightforward to me.
30 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you. Is there a second?
32 MR. JOE HENDRIX: Second.
34 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Second by Joe. Any discussion? Seeing no
35 discussion, all in favor say aye; all opposed like sign. The
36 motion carries. We will recognize you, Shep, when you have the
37 enforcement one to look at. What’s next?
39 MR. STRELCHECK: In Action 1, page 19, it contains the
40 aquaculture permit requirements, eligibility, and
41 transferability information. In the preferred alternative, we
42 added several new requirements for council consideration.
44 The basis for this was twofold. One was for better enforcement
45 and the other was for monitoring and tracking of landings and
46 data information and the three provisions that we added, that
47 would essentially be authorized under a permit or prohibited
48 under the permit, would be that an aquaculture permit authorize
1 the landing at a U.S. port of species cultured in the Gulf of
4 In and of itself, that doesn’t preclude or prohibit the landing
5 of cultured species outside the U.S. and so we wanted to go
6 ahead and be specific that we wanted to prohibit this and this
7 will obviously help with enforcement and transport of fish from
8 the aquaculture facility to U.S. landing ports, where
9 enforcement can be dockside and be there for monitoring what is
10 being brought in.
12 Then the third provision was addition of a dealer permit. Right
13 now, we require dealer permits for some, but not all of the
14 species that are proposed for inclusion in the Aquaculture FMP.
15 We’re proposing an aquaculture dealer permit that would be
16 required to receive cultured organisms.
18 In addition to that, we wanted to go ahead and clarify the
19 definitions for a U.S. citizen and permanent resident alien.
20 We’re not necessarily defining these as much as just referencing
21 existing language that pertains to U.S. citizen and permanent
22 resident alien, but that’s been footnoted in this section, just
23 for clarification.
25 Then in Table 4.1.2, as part of that aquaculture dealer permit,
26 we have added dealer reporting requirements. These are
27 analogous to the reporting requirements that we require
28 currently for Gulf reef fish, with the exception that reef fish
29 has been changed to I believe cultured organism or aquacultured
30 species or something along those lines. Those are all the
31 changes to Action 1.
33 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Any discussion on the proposed changes to
34 Action 1? Is there a motion to accept these proposed changes?
36 MR. GILL: So moved.
38 MR. HENDRIX: Second.
40 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Seconded by Joe.
42 MR. HENDRIX: Karen, is the intent to approve each measure as we
43 go along?
45 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: I think that’s the most efficient for us.
46 Otherwise, I’ll get lost, but with the ability to come back at
47 the end and redo anything that we want to do. There’s a motion
48 on the floor to accept the proposed changes to Action 1. Any
1 discussion? Seeing no discussion, all in favor say aye; all
2 opposed like sign. The motion passes.
4 MR. GRIMES: How about this for the objective: To promote and
5 facility effective enforcement of the aquaculture management
8 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: We have some language that I think may come out
9 as a motion in a second. Can you repeat that again, please?
11 MR. GRIMES: To promote and facility effective enforcement of
12 the aquaculture management program.
14 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Do I hear a motion?
16 MS. BOBBI WALKER: So moved.
18 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Moved by Bobbi. A second?
20 MR. HENDRIX: Second.
22 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Second by Joe. Is there discussion? That’s
23 Bobbi’s motion. Seeing no further discussion, all in favor say
24 aye; all opposed like sign. The motion passed and we’ll add
25 that to the objectives. Andy, back to you.
27 MR. STRELCHECK: In Action 2, this is our detailed list of
28 application requirements, operational requirements and
29 restrictions. It can be found on page 29. We tweaked some
30 portions of the section and added a few additional requirements.
31 I have two slides on this. I don’t know if you want to go
32 through one slide at a time or just go through all of them.
34 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Go through all of them and then we’ll come
37 MR. STRELCHECK: In Alternative 3(a)(2)(v), we specify that
38 hatcheries can only be located in the United States that are
39 providing juvenile organisms for grow out. Recall that we have
40 a provision that brood stock must be harvested from U.S. waters,
41 but it doesn’t necessarily imply where those brood stock would
42 then be held. We just wanted to further clarify for enforcement
43 purposes that that hatchery would have to be in the United
44 States and provide fingerlings for grow out, so that enforcement
45 could have access to that particular facility.
47 In the next alternative, we are essentially asking for a
48 description of the permit site, what protected resources occur
1 at the site, essential fish habitat and other marine fisheries
2 and invertebrates and this would include essentially their
3 abundance and distribution.
5 This is something that we received as part of several exempted
6 fishing permits and thought it was just good information to have
7 in terms of issuing a permit and looking at siting
10 The next alternative is something that we actually borrowed from
11 the State of Texas, as part of their offshore aquaculture
12 regulations, and we wanted to clarify that we would have
13 authority as National Marine Fisheries Service to sample
14 cultured organisms for genetic lineage at the particular
15 aquaculture facility and to that end, if there’s some
16 determination made that a species has been genetically modified
17 or are determined to be transgenic that we could order the
18 removal of those cultured organisms from that particular
21 MS. WALKER: Andy, back to Alternative 3(a)(2)(v). We’re going
22 to require the permittee to describe protected resources and I
23 assume they’ll get that information through the National Marine
24 Fisheries Service. Abundance and distribution, where are they
25 going to get that information?
27 MR. STRELCHECK: This is going to be specific to their
28 particular site and so in terms of personal observations and any
29 sort of surveys that are conducted at that site, as well as any
30 literature that might be available just describing what species
31 might occur in that area. This is something that’s essentially
32 been provided to us previously and fairly common in terms of a
33 description for a facility site.
35 MR. HENDRIX: As far as the abundance and distribution, you mean
36 an estimate, don’t you? Could we possibly add that wording to
37 it, an estimate of the abundance and distribution?
39 MR. STRELCHECK: A couple other things that were added, this is
40 -- The Army Corps and Environmental Protection Agency -- As part
41 of their permits, they lay out numerous monitoring and reporting
42 requirements, as well as environmental quality standards.
44 Because this is a collaborative effort between multiple federal
45 agencies, we felt the need to go ahead and make our intent clear
46 that we would want them to be complying with monitoring and
47 reporting requirements as part of our permit and that would
48 essentially be something that’s already required. It’s not
1 really duplicative, because we’re not requiring any addition.
2 We’re just essentially explaining our intent in this instance
3 and making it clear to the public especially that these are
4 existing requirements that operations would have to abide by.
6 Protected resources, they asked us to include a provision that
7 requires a permittee to inspect allowable systems for
8 entanglements or interactions with marine mammals or protected
9 species and recall in the record keeping and reporting
10 requirements that if an interaction or entanglement occurs, they
11 would have to report that after discovery to the National Marine
12 Fisheries Service.
14 One thing that Shep and I discussed before this meeting is
15 whether or not there’s a need to put a requirement in terms of
16 how frequently this might be conducted. Keep that in mind for
17 discussion and then the last alternative on the screen -- The
18 language was essentially modified to reflect the use of a
19 restricted access zone for hatchery purposes. This was just a
20 minor tweak, but essentially it would allow the possession of
21 wild organisms within a restricted access zone if a hatchery is
22 at that particular site. Otherwise, wild species would not be
23 able to be possessed at the aquaculture facility.
25 MR. DOUG FRUGE: I don’t know if this is the right time to bring
26 this up or not, but with respect to Alternative 3(b)(7), the
27 reporting requirements, I thought in an earlier draft of this,
28 and I could be wrong, I guess, but I thought there was -- In
29 addition to marine mammals and protected species that we also
30 included migratory birds. Is that not right? I was wondering
31 if that could be added back into this.
33 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Do you remember there being a reason that it
34 came out, Andy?
36 MR. STRELCHECK: The reason it came out was the view that it
37 wasn’t something NOAA Fisheries had direct authority over. I’m
38 not sure, in terms of the working relationship with Fish and
39 Wildlife and migratory birds, in terms of interactions, how you
40 were provided information or how that would work, but certainly
41 it’s something that could be included back in if the committee
42 believes it needs to be.
44 MR. FRUGE: I really can’t speak to how we might interface with
45 NOAA Fisheries on this, but, of course, Fish and Wildlife
46 Service does have regulatory authority over migratory birds and
47 any take of migratory birds is a violation of the Migratory Bird
48 Treaty Act, which is described in the text of the document. At
1 the least, I would think that some reporting requirement would
2 not be unreasonable, since they have to report on these other
5 MR. GRIMES: I think we could certainly include the reporting
6 requirement. To the extent that any migratory birds would be
7 considered threatened or endangered, they would be covered under
8 the reporting requirements.
10 At the same time, just -- NOAA’s position on the Migratory Bird
11 Treaty Act is that it does not apply in the EEZ. We don’t
12 generally get into that, but at the same time, I would not have
13 any problem with us asking applicants to report or provide us
14 these interactions.
16 MS. JULIE MORRIS: It seems like with the surface longline
17 fisheries in the Pacific that there’s bird interactions and
18 that’s something that NOAA is very actively involved in
19 preventing and so I don’t see why this would be a different
20 situation for aquaculture gear in the Gulf.
22 MR. GRIMES: Those are listed species of birds, for one thing.
23 The other one is a lot of that is high seas. It’s north of
24 twenty-degrees North latitude and it’s outside of the EEZ. At
25 the same time, there’s no prohibition on considering these
28 MS. MORRIS: I would make a motion to include migratory birds in
29 this Subsection (7). At the same time, informing this motion,
30 is there -- Would there be a normal routine frequency for doing
31 these inspections of the mooring lines and anchor lines? Is
32 there an industry norm for that and how frequently would that
35 MR. HENDRIX: That’s a regular part of the management process,
36 to examine mooring lines and the netting and all that sort of
37 thing. That would become a part of it, to make observations of
38 any interactions with endangered species or in this case
39 migratory birds.
41 MS. MORRIS: Then my motion would be to include migratory birds
42 in this section.
44 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Is there a second to that motion?
46 MR. MIKE RAY: Second.
48 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Further discussion? As I understand your
1 motion, it’s to accept the changes as provided for Number (7),
2 but also include migratory birds.
4 MR. FRUGE: Just an added note. I was aware, as Mr. Grimes
5 pointed out, that there is a difference in the application of
6 the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the EEZ, but I think it would
7 still be beneficial to still get the information, get the data,
8 on these interactions, irrespective of that.
10 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you. There’s a motion on the board. All
11 in favor please say aye; all opposed like sign. The motion
12 passes. Andy has now presented all of the suggested changes to
13 Action 2.
15 MS. MORRIS: I wanted to talk again about Subsection (10) on
16 this same page and I think the part of the document that
17 actually talks about allowing hatcheries in the EEZ is someplace
18 else, but this links to it and when we get to that other part,
19 I’m going to start a discussion about trying to convince you
20 that we shouldn’t have hatcheries in the EEZ and if I’m
21 successful in that, we’ll have to come back and change this.
23 MR. STRELCHECK: That provision is in Action 1 and so we’ve
24 already moved past it. If you want to have that conversation,
25 now is probably the appropriate time.
27 MS. MORRIS: Could you help me find it in Action 1?
29 MR. STRELCHECK: It’s on page 19 and it’s the second sub-bullet
30 under Preferred Alternative 2.
32 MS. MORRIS: We had this discussion briefly the last time the
33 council and the committee worked on this and my memory of the
34 discussion is that nobody in the room was aware, including
35 members of the public, of there ever having been a hatchery
36 located in the EEZ or in an open ocean situation.
38 It just seems like it’s an unnecessarily risky thing to include
39 as being allowed here when it’s an untested and unproven
40 technique. It seems like we know a lot about safe hatchery
41 operations on land and creating a hatchery at sea seems like it
42 has risks involved that we may not want to incorporate in this
43 initial plan for aquaculture. I would move that we delete that
44 second bullet, operate a hatchery for spawning and rearing of
45 allowable aquaculture species in the Gulf of Mexico EEZ.
47 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Is there a second to the motion?
1 DR. ROY CRABTREE: I’ll second it.
3 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Seconded by Roy. Discussion?
5 MR. GILL: Julie, would you enumerate some of the risks that you
6 see with the hatchery as opposed to the aquaculture system for
9 MS. MORRIS: I don’t know the details of hatchery operation, but
10 if the hatchery is located on land, it seems like the
11 possibility of a failure or an escape is contained in a land-
12 based site and if it was on an oil platform or someplace in the
13 EEZ, the effects of a failure or an escape would be directly
14 deposited into the EEZ and so that seems like it’s a more high-
15 risk situation.
17 MR. BILL TEEHAN: I guess I would like to ask Joe what the
18 state-of-the-art technology of the offshore hatcheries is?
20 MR. HENDRIX: That’s a common practice in other parts of the
21 world and one reason is -- One of the more critical criteria for
22 siting a hatchery is a source of good quality water to operate
23 the hatchery and there’s no better source than to be far
24 offshore, away from the near-shore pollution and other
25 interactions and interactions with other user groups, too.
27 I fail to see any risk and I would ask the same question Mr.
28 Gill asked, could Ms. Morris describe the risks associated with
29 this, because I can’t see any risks associated with it.
31 MS. MORRIS: Joe, am I -- Please correct me if I’m wrong. My
32 sense from my queries of members of the public who testified at
33 the last meeting and also my conversations with you is that
34 nobody was aware of a hatchery being operated in the open ocean
35 anywhere else in the world, but it seems like you’re suggesting
36 that this is happening.
38 MR. HENDRIX: I know of two hatcheries in the Mediterranean that
39 are offshore and one in northern Europe, too, and there haven’t
40 been any problems there. Once again, Julie, I’m not real clear
41 on what sort of risks this presents that are any different than
42 the aquaculture operations.
44 The hatchery, with the brood stock requirements and the genetic
45 requirements, is not going to have any activities -- They’re not
46 going to produce any additional risk that the farming operation
1 MR. PEARCE: In today’s world, we continue to breed inefficiency
2 and if we can become more efficient in what we do and putting
3 the hatchery on a platform or whatever might make that operation
4 just that much more efficient. In today’s oil economy and
5 what’s going on, I think every option that they have to make
6 this a profitable enterprise needs to be looked at and
9 I’m like Joe. I’ve seen hatcheries in deepwater operations and
10 it’s done because of clean water and I don’t see the down side.
11 I just really don’t see the down side of the hatchery there and
12 I think the up side is if it makes it that much more efficient -
13 - We have got to consider being more efficient in today’s world.
15 DR. CRABTREE: Joe, if you’re talking -- I guess you’re talking
16 holding the brood stock offshore somewhere where the hatchery is
17 and spawning them and producing the eggs and the larvae and all
18 of the grow out and all of that and it does seem to me that’s
19 probably kind of impractical.
21 I know when you’re spawning fish and then all the feeding and
22 everything, it’s kind of labor intensive and at least for some
23 species, you’ve got to provide the light conditions and
24 everything to get them to spawn and it seems to me that’s just
25 more practical to do onshore than offshore.
27 I may be wrong about that and things, but I do tend to agree
28 that the only extra risk I see here is that it seems to me the
29 hatchery is going to be an out-of-the-water facility, whereas
30 the pens are underwater, and so it does seem to me the hatchery
31 is more likely to be damaged and have escapes if there is a
32 hurricane or a storm comes by.
34 On the other hand, I don’t know that the -- I suspect that if
35 very small juveniles were released that their survival would be
36 almost nothing and so there’s probably a negligible risk from
37 that and the small amount of brood stock they would have there,
38 if it escaped, would probably pose a negligible risk.
40 I tend to agree that the risk of it, if the hatchery was
41 destroyed in storm, is probably relatively low, but I do tend to
42 agree with Julie that the vulnerability of the hatchery, should
43 a storm come by, is much greater than the vulnerability of the
44 tanks or the net pens, which are below the surface.
46 MR. HENDRIX: I would have to disagree, Roy, because as I said
47 before, a good quality water source is a critical element of a
48 successful hatchery and you’re offshore, right in the middle of
1 the best quality water. Also, transport stress is one of the
2 greatest problems with moving fingerlings from Point A to Point
5 The onshore hatchery is going to be located, very possibly, in a
6 storm zone also if it’s in the near onshore, alongside the Gulf,
7 and so they’re not going to escape the hurricane damage
8 possibility. I just don’t understand the risk and I still
9 haven’t heard anyone define any risk with having a hatchery
12 DR. CRABTREE: Joe, you know a lot more about this than I do and
13 so it may be that this is efficient and is a practical thing to
14 do, but I do think though that -- Am I incorrect that the
15 hatchery facility itself would be above the water, whereas the
16 pens would be submerged and so the risk of damage to it would be
17 higher than the pens themselves? Is that correct?
19 MR. HENDRIX: All the platforms in the Gulf, for example,
20 weren’t all destroyed or damaged by Katrina.
22 DR. CRABTREE: That’s a different issue, but I am right that the
23 hatchery would be placed above the water?
25 MR. HENDRIX: Yes, it would. Yes, it would be located out of
26 the water, more than likely, and more than likely on a platform.
28 DR. CRABTREE: I will agree with you that I think the
29 implications of having a hatchery damaged and having fingerlings
30 and brood stock escape -- I think those risks are pretty minimal
31 and so I would agree with you on that point, but I do believe
32 the facility itself is more vulnerable. That’s my only point
33 I’m making.
35 MR. GILL: To Roy’s point on impracticality, I don’t think
36 that’s the issue before us. That’s a business decision by the
37 folks that are interested in the proposition and whether they
38 deem it practical or not isn’t the issue. The issue for us is
39 does it make sense and as the discussion has gone, I tend to
40 concur that I don’t see much down side here. There’s a slightly
41 higher risk if it’s above the water, but I think, all in all,
42 there’s no risk to the Gulf.
44 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you. Any further discussion on the
45 motion on the board? All in favor say aye; all opposed like
46 sign. The motion failed. We’re back on Action 2 and we had one
47 addition to Action 2 of adding migratory bird reporting.
1 MR. GRIMES: I apologize, but since we’re back on 1 -- I had
2 originally intended to raise this issue in the end, after we had
3 gone through everything, but at the last meeting, we added a
4 provision that would allow these permits to be transferred and
5 remember we had an extensive discussion over this. Myself and
6 Dr. Crabtree had both talked about how there were potential
7 complications with allowing transfer.
9 I’ve gone back and Andy and I have sat down and we talked about
10 this quite a bit and in terms of -- Thinking ahead about what
11 the regulations are going to look like and how are we going to
12 accommodate this permit application process and how would the
13 regulations accommodate transfer and I would like you to revisit
14 the issue and if we determine that we’re going to continue to
15 allow these to be transferable that we have some additional
16 discussion for how this might actually be implemented.
18 As you can see, the application requirements are quite onerous.
19 There’s a lot that has to be done and a lot that has to be
20 provided to the agency. There’s currently a proposal for an
21 assurance bond and a lot of other very detailed requirements.
23 In the event that we allow a transfer, how is that transfer
24 going to occur? Does that person who comes in seeking to
25 receive the transferred permit, do they step into the shoes of
26 the other person? Does that assurance bond automatically
27 transfer with it? If it doesn’t, then the person is going to
28 have to come in and show that they meet all the application
29 criteria in the first place, which is essentially going to be a
30 new permit application anyway.
32 There are all these operational elements that are attached to
33 those permits and do they automatically step into the shoes of
34 that person as well? I think these things are very complicated
35 and it’s going to be difficult for us to simply allow a transfer
36 to occur without some extensive interaction and documentation,
37 just as if it were a new permit application.
39 As we discussed before, there are certainly ways for business
40 entities to incorporate and obtain their permit and then allow
41 that business to be sold completely so that there is no transfer
42 with it.
44 Ownership may shift to a new entity, but the permitted entity,
45 all the application and operational requirements attached to
46 that permit, would remain unchanged. The bond presumably would
47 go and remain with the company that was originally permitted and
48 I think signaling to those individuals who are interested in
1 establishing aquaculture operations that if you want to be able
2 to provide yourself this flexibility down the road, you’re going
3 to have to plan your business that way, because we are not going
4 to just allow transfer of these individual permits.
6 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: The specific point that you would suggest is
7 the committee consider changing from transferable to not
8 transferable in Preferred Alternative 2?
10 MR. GRIMES: That is correct.
12 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Is there any committee member that --
14 MR. RIECHERS: Shep, you mentioned in the first part of your
15 discussion there some of the things that you felt would have to
16 be required to make it transferable. Would you go back and
17 elaborate on those?
19 If we were to leave our preferred, but you would want it to --
20 Some of the checks and balances you were kind of talking about,
21 so that it could actually be a transferable situation, a re-
22 permitting, if you will, some sort of resubmission by the person
23 receiving the transfer. I could envision something like that,
24 some sort of timeframe for them to reapply for a permit in their
27 I think, again, our conversation about this last time was that
28 yes, I’m certain that some people can jump through certain hoops
29 as far as transferring of business names and so forth and so on,
30 that they could plan in advance, but the reality of it is they
31 may not and there may be reasons why they don’t want to. They
32 may want it in the individual’s name and they may want it -- It
33 may not be a corporation. Most of them will be corporations, as
34 we talked about last time, but they may not want to sell their
35 corporation name to the person buying it or create a subset.
37 There’s a host of reasons how they may choose to do this and
38 quite frankly, we’re not smart enough to know what those are.
39 We’re not in that world, as far as corporations and tax
40 structures and all those kinds of things. How can we leave it
41 transferable and alleviate your concerns?
43 MR. GRIMES: I guess you can’t wholesale alleviate all of my
44 concerns on this, but if you look at Action 2, and I’m on pages
45 29 and 30 and actually all the way to 32 -- If you want to know
46 what the problems are, look at pretty much every one of these
47 elements, because they’re going to apply to the original
48 permitted entity: business name, address, telephone number,
1 applicant name and address. That’s straightforward and that
2 would be easily done.
4 Hatcheries that are used, a copy of all permits that are
5 associated with it -- Are they going to use the same systems and
6 the equipment? The list goes on and so all of this stuff -- The
7 fact that the application itself is so onerous and it’s going to
8 require all this detail, if you’re going to allow any transfer
9 of it, then there’s going to have to be some determination that
10 the person receiving the permit, the transferee, meets all these
11 conditions and satisfies all the application requirements.
13 It is going to be, in my opinion -- To do it and to do it
14 rationally, it’s going to be the functional equivalent of a new
15 application anyway and so by allowing transfer, you’re not
16 benefitting anybody. It’s an open access system anyway and so
17 what benefit do you get out of allowing the transfer?
19 I would just say that in terms of business entities and Mr.
20 Riechers’s remark that we probably aren’t smart enough or know
21 enough about it to foresee all of the potential motives or
22 ramifications for how people would structure their businesses to
23 do this, but we can certainly set up our program telling them
24 that if you want to play that this is how you’ve got to play.
26 The primary concern may not be what their tax incentive is, but
27 it’s allow us to have an effectively enforceable program, a
28 program that’s more readily monitored and implemented and the
31 MR. PEARCE: Shep, I agree and I disagree, in some respects,
32 because I think what we’re going to see here is we’re going to
33 see the entrepreneurs and the pioneers that are going to jump
34 into this business are going to do the thing the right way.
35 They’re going to develop their facilities and they’re going to
36 do all the hard work and then you’re going to see the companies
37 that want to step in and take control of that hard work and
38 they’re not going to change anything that’s done on that
41 They’re going to do the same things that they’re doing. I
42 understand that the names might change and I understand that
43 those type of situations will, but I can’t see somebody coming
44 and taking over a platform without taking over that expertise
45 and using everything that’s been put in place, because the scary
46 part is the beginning.
48 Once it’s done and once it’s there, we’re going to see people
1 that might want to get involved and you’re right that we’re not
2 smart enough to understand the corporative talk and tax credits
3 and different things that might come with all of these different
4 things that some company might want to buy. I don’t see them
5 coming in and just physically changing the operation. They
6 probably won’t even change the management scheme. They’ll
7 probably keep the same managers on the operation. They’ll
8 probably just change the corporate structure and that’s probably
11 I believe that the application you’re talking about could
12 basically just mirror one or the other. They’re going to come
13 in and what’s done on that platform is not going to change and
14 if it does, sure, I suggest that something has got to be done,
15 but if there’s no changes and the application is basically the
16 same application and it’s the same product and same species,
17 same everything, and it’s probably going to be the same lower
18 management that’s going to run this operation when somebody else
19 steps in and the entrepreneur, or the guy that’s taken the risk,
20 is making money for what he’s done.
22 I just don’t want to make it too onerous that we don’t have
23 growth in this industry and growth in this industry is new money
24 and so I would like to solve your problems, but basically I
25 think as long as the bulk of the application does not change or
26 if we want to single out parts that you want to look at, I think
27 that it should be fine just to transfer like it is.
29 DR. CRABTREE: We had some discussion, but I don’t think we had
30 a clear answer. The Army Corps permit, as I understand it, that
31 they have to have to operate is not transferable and is that
32 correct? Do we know that? It’s a site permit.
34 They also have to have an EPA permit, which as far as I know is
35 not transferable, but does anyone -- Do we know the answers to
36 whether either one of those are?
38 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: At this point, we do not know the answer, but
39 perhaps by full council we will know the answer.
41 DR. CRABTREE: Could we try to find out for sure, Andy? It
42 seems to me that if those are not transferable, then if someone
43 came in and wanted to transfer their aquaculture permit, we
44 would essentially have to close the operation down, because they
45 would no longer meet the requirements, because you can’t
46 transfer those other permits. They would have to go in and
47 reapply and get those.
1 I think Shepherd is correct, that, in essence, to transfer a
2 permit you’re going to have to go through the whole application
3 period thing again. Harlon may be right that it’s not that
4 difficult, because you’re resubmitting a lot of the original
7 I also think though that in the vast majority of cases that if
8 there’s a transfer of ownership of the operation that it’s going
9 to be a transfer of ownership of the whole thing, including the
10 corporation, and there wouldn’t be a transfer, in that case,
11 taking place. I think if you assume that the Corps permits and
12 the EPA permits aren’t transferable, then there’s still going to
13 be a powerful incentive to do the deal in a way so the permits
14 aren’t transferred.
16 I also think if the Corps and the EPA permits are not
17 transferable that there’s some logic here to all of us in terms
18 of the permits they have to have and being consistent about
19 that. I guess I would like to see if we can find out answers to
20 that question, so we can revisit this at full council.
22 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: We will find the answers before full council.
24 MR. CORKY PERRET: Since Dr. Shipp and I are the only two that
25 are not members of this three-committee group -- We complicate
26 things so much. Why don’t we learn from activities that are
27 already going on offshore? We make comparisons with offshore
28 mineral production.
30 The federal government, through Minerals Management, has
31 offshore lease sales. Company A buys it and it’s transferred to
32 Company B and it goes to Company C and Company A may end up with
33 it again, I don’t know. It’s the same thing with production.
34 Equipment is put on the site and they drill and the platform is
35 in production and Company A sells to B, C, D, E. Obviously
36 there are rules in place that we probably could follow or could
37 at least use in part.
39 Dr. Crabtree has asked for an answer to a question and I think
40 we ought to take a look at how that’s handled with offshore
41 mineral production and mineral exploration sites, because we
42 seem to be comparing offshore aquaculture sites and platforms
43 with petroleum and perhaps we would get an answer, a good
44 answer, that would help us.
46 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you and you’re welcome to speak at any
1 MR. RIECHERS: You bring up a good point, Roy. I think we
2 should look at whether those other permits are transferable. I
3 suspect if they are not transferable then what we would want to
4 require is upon transfer that we have a new permit in hand that
5 will be effective on X date or something like that.
7 I’ve got no problem with asking the new permit person to go
8 through whatever and we can go down as far as we need to go, but
9 I don’t want the new permittee to be sitting there waiting 120
10 days for us to review it. The operation is in place and the
11 only thing possibly changing is who is on the title and it just
12 doesn’t make sense.
14 I think we’re going to have to facilitate some sort of transfer.
15 I’m more than willing to try to make it where everyone is
16 comfortable and we should make it where everyone is comfortable
17 with it.
19 DR. CRABTREE: I think, Robin, that’s why these facilities need
20 to structure their business in such a way so that if they sell
21 it there is no transfer and they sell the whole thing, because I
22 can’t tell you -- Even if we do a transfer, it may take 120 days
23 to do the transfer, because we may have to get so much
24 information, as I said, that it is almost a new application.
26 I agree with you that we could tell them to not apply for the
27 transfer until you’ve already gotten your new permits, but I
28 don’t know if the Corps or the EPA will permit the operation
29 until it’s already been sold and if it’s already been sold, then
30 the permit is no longer valid, unless they transfer it. I just
31 think there’s a lot of complications here.
33 This is a complicated business and I think anyone who comes in
34 and sets up an offshore aquaculture operation needs to structure
35 their corporation in such a way that if they want to sell it
36 that they don’t have to go through all this, because I think
37 it’s going to be very complicated.
39 If we want to leave the transfer in there, I guess right now I’m
40 okay with it, but I think it is not going to be a practical way
41 to go, because I think it’s going to be very complicated to do
42 the transfers.
44 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: We’ve had fifteen minutes of discussion without
45 a motion on the board. It’s an important discussion, but I’m
46 going to recognize Kevin and then Larry and if we don’t have a
47 motion on the board, we’re going to go on.
1 MR. KEVIN ANSON: The EPA and Corps permits withstanding, and
2 just looking at the issue here with what we have to deal with
3 and what NOAA will have to deal with, it’s a business venture
4 and I’m not a businessman, but you’re always trying to minimize
5 risk. If you put this in as trying to go through a whole new
6 process again to get approval for your operation, then that’s
7 something that a business, potential businessman that’s looking
8 at an operation, may consider and may not want to buy or it may
9 affect the economics of it.
11 In regards to a transfer, you can, at least on our end, make it
12 relatively easy, I would think, just to have some of the
13 pertinent information as to who is going to be the contact and
14 such and then have some verbiage in there, as Robin stated, that
15 everything else stays the same, because that’s what they’re
16 basing their business model on, is what the previous production
17 history has been for that facility.
19 MR. LARRY SIMPSON: I’m like Corky and Dr. Shipp and I’m not on
20 it either, but I have a question that occurred to me. If you
21 have a business operation and you want to limit your economic
22 liability and you sell 49 percent of the business, 20 percent of
23 the business, 25, whatever percent of the business, would that
24 require a re-permitting, because of the bonding and so forth and
25 so on? If it does, then I think you ought to keep transfers in.
26 If it’s as Roy says, maybe it’s a consideration. I agree with
27 the statement that the business people will think through this a
28 lot more in depth than we will, trying to second guess them.
30 MR. GRIMES: I think in your case -- You couldn’t transfer part
31 of the permit and so really, if you’re a corporate entity and
32 you come in and it’s your officer director who signs off and
33 it’s ABC Incorporated and that’s who the permit belongs to.
35 Just in terms of responding to some of the discussion that
36 leaving transfer in is going to make it easier and they can say
37 that we’ll just change the names, but everything else is the
38 same, that’s not going to work in some instances. There are
39 certifications by the applicant that they’re not using
40 genetically modified organisms and that they’re going to do this
41 or they’re going to do that.
43 By creating the -- If you want to transfer a permit, I foresee
44 that being a whole lot more complicated and a longer process for
45 the applicant than selling my corporation. Then everything goes
46 with the corporation, including the bond and everything else.
48 Now, if I have a partnership or I have a sole proprietorship and
1 I sell that, then everything is going to change and that would
2 require a transfer or a new permit, but again, given the cost,
3 the complexity and the potential risk of entering into one of
4 these new businesses, I see that as something that’s probably
5 highly unlikely.
7 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: We are halfway through our time and back on
8 Action 1, but I’ll recognize Bob.
10 DR. BOB SHIPP: You need to recognize me, because I’m the third
11 person and last one not on the committee to speak. Kind of
12 following up on what Shep said, if you view this as a
13 corporation with stock, every day people buy and sell stock and
14 the ownership could, theoretically, change 100 percent in a
15 day’s time by just someone buying all the stock, but the
16 corporation still stays and I think that’s what Roy was trying
17 to say. They need to set it up in the first place so that you
18 don’t even need to worry about the transfers.
20 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you. Now we’re going to move on to
21 Action 2 again. Andy has stepped us through several suggested
22 changes to Action 2 and we have taken one of his changes and
23 slightly modified it, but I would like the committee to make a
24 motion, if you would, please, to accept the other changes to
25 Action 2 or not.
27 MR. HENDRIX: I move that we accept the changes recommended.
29 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Is there a second? Seconded by Mike. Is there
30 any discussion? Seeing no discussion, all in favor of accepting
31 the suggested changes to Action 2 say aye; all opposed like
32 sign. The motion carries. Go ahead, Andy.
34 MR. STRELCHECK: Moving right along -- The next three actions
35 shouldn’t take very long at all, unless Shep speaks, of course.
37 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: The only thing I heard all of us agree on in
38 the last discussion was that we weren’t smart enough.
40 MR. STRELCHECK: In Action 3, Permit Duration, you’ll be happy
41 to know that no changes were made to the range of alternatives.
42 The preferred alternative remains ten years and may be renewed
43 in five-year increments.
45 For Action 4, we essentially just tweaked some language, because
46 this document moved from an amendment to a fishery management
47 plan. There is a need to identify species that we included in
48 the fishery management unit for aquaculture. The allowable list
1 of species did not change. We just added some text to indicate
2 that allowable species would then be inserted into the fishery
3 management unit and so that was the only change to Action 4.
5 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Would the committee like to accept the changes
6 to Action 4?
8 MR. GRIMES: I just have a suggestion. I would propose that you
9 actually list all the species that are currently in, because if
10 you change the other fishery management plans, it’s not -- Then
11 there’s some question as to what the effect would be on this.
12 If you’re just incorporating it by reference and you change
13 those other plans, then would you be changing what’s included in
14 here automatically? It just seems to me that it would be easier
15 if you listed the species out.
17 MR. STRELCHECK: To that point, there is an appendix in the back
18 of the document that references the species listed.
20 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: That will handle your concern, Shep?
22 MR. GRIMES: Yes, thank you very much.
24 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Would the committee like to accept these
25 changes? If so, I would like to hear a motion.
27 MR. RAY: I move that we accept the changes in Action 4.
29 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you. Is there a second? Seconded by
30 Joe. Any further discussion? Seeing none, all in favor say
31 aye; all opposed like sign. The motion passes.
33 MR. STRELCHECK: The next section is Action 5, Allowable Marine
34 Aquaculture Systems. This was the other section that we did not
35 make modifications to. The council’s preferred alternative
36 would remain essentially case-by-case review of allowable
37 aquaculture systems and the RA would request information from
38 the applicant regarding structural integrity of the system,
39 computer, and physical oceanographic modeling results and other
40 information necessary to make a determination.
42 There would also be consultations with various offices and
43 programs within NOAA Fisheries service to determine if the
44 system poses a threat to essential fish habitat, protected
45 resources, and any other considerations with regard to safety
46 and public health. As was mentioned, there’s no changes to this
1 In Action 6, Marine Aquaculture Siting Requirements and
2 Conditions, page 56, one new sub-alternative was added to this
3 action and this was based on council recommendation during the
4 last meeting and what has been added is a requirement for a
5 benthic video survey to be provided to the National Marine
6 Fisheries Service, to allow us to review the site and what is at
7 the site in making a determination of whether or not that would
8 be an allowable permitted site for the facility. This was a
9 motion you made at the last meeting and we’re adding it to the
10 document and so there’s no need for a new motion.
12 MR. PEARCE: In line with our Objective 4, which said use
13 necessary data for issuing permits, and Objective 5, to minimize
14 user conflicts, and in light of the testimony that Dr. Nance
15 gave yesterday about electronic logbook data and how well
16 they’ve done with that in the shrimping industry, I would like
17 to make a motion to add to Preferred Alternative 3(a), to add to
18 that to prohibit marine aquaculture in areas of high shrimping
19 effort, based on the electronic logbook data that Dr. Nance has
20 done such a good job with. All of this follows right in line
21 with our Objectives 4 and 5.
23 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: There’s a motion on the board. Is there a
24 second? Julie, is that a second?
26 MS. MORRIS: I’m trying to understand the motion and so I’ll
27 wait until there’s a second.
29 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Seconded by Bob.
31 MS. MORRIS: Harlon, are you saying that Dr. Nance can provide
32 maps of high shrimping effort or is this something that would be
33 determined annually or how would we figure out what qualified as
34 a high shrimping effort?
36 MR. PEARCE: His electronic logbook data shows us the areas that
37 are high shrimping efforts in the Gulf and then we should be
38 able to utilize that data to do the siting work for aquaculture
39 facilities. I just think in light of what we’ve already said,
40 that we need to use whatever necessary data we have -- That’s
41 data that we have and we need to limit user conflicts. That
42 will help us do that and it will help satisfy some of the
43 problems that the shrimpers are having with the plan.
45 MR. RIECHERS: Harlon, I’m looking down at Number (e), about
46 halfway through (e), right past that highlighted portion on
47 important fishery habitats -- Is the next sentence basically --
48 As you said, it basically gives the RA the authority to deny
1 based on a user conflict with commercial or recreational
2 fishermen there. I think we had envisioned that the RA would do
3 that, using that kind of mapping exercise that we looked at the
4 last time and certainly some of the work that’s ongoing.
6 Does it really need to -- Doesn’t that cover us, is what I guess
7 I’m trying to say. I know you’re trying to be a little more
8 specific. The only problem I have with your specificity in this
9 is I don’t think we still have any definition that tells us what
10 an area of high use is that would actually allow us to say this
11 is a no placement zone.
13 MR. PEARCE: I understand what you’re saying and I am trying to
14 be a little more specific by putting it in the beginning, so
15 that it basically tells us that we can’t put these facilities in
16 an area where these shrimpers are. I’m trying to solve the
17 problems to keep this plan moving ahead. That’s what I’m really
18 trying to do and I feel that in that spot it definitely solves
19 their problems.
21 I do understand what you’re saying about what is high shrimping
22 effort. I understand that question, but I do know that the
23 electronic logbook data is pretty specific about where they’re
24 shrimping. I think that we can utilize that data and I’m sure
25 it would be an ongoing thing. It’s not something that’s going
26 to be just what’s happening today, because that’s going to
27 change with time, but I still would like to see it up here,
28 because I think it’s a lot stronger for the shrimpers than it is
29 down below.
31 MR. HENDRIX: Harlon, I would have to agree with Robin that this
32 is redundant. We’ve already addressed this as far as user
33 conflicts. While the electronic logbook data is very valuable,
34 it changes every year and shrimping activity changes every year
35 and has changed historically.
37 There is probably not a square yard of the bottom of the Gulf of
38 Mexico that has not been shrimped at one time and so one
39 person’s definition of highly used is going to be quite a bit
40 different than another’s and so I think it’s just not well
41 defined enough. The original thing that says it’s the
42 responsibility of NOAA Fisheries to identify those areas leaves
43 it open for them to use a variety of different tools to
44 determine that.
46 MR. PEARCE: To that point too, Joe, this data is new data.
47 It’s not something that’s a hundred years old. It’s something
48 that we’ve gotten just recently, the last couple of years, and
1 it’s going to be an evolving data, for sure.
3 We had it in some of our discussions and rationale in the past
4 in the aquaculture plan, but it was taken out, that particular
5 section, to where it said areas of high shrimping effort based
6 on electronic logbook.
8 I’m trying to make sure we get that back in here, because we
9 need to utilize the data that we have and that’s one thing that
10 will help us find out where we need not to be to affect the
11 shrimpers. I understand all of your concerns, but I think that
12 it’s necessary to put it back into this plan at some point, in
13 some spot.
15 MR. TEEHAN: Harlon, I think the language that we have in here,
16 as has been stated by Robin and Joe, pretty much covers the
17 issue. I would have to say if you wanted to get specific about
18 shrimp, why not grouper fishermen, snapper fishermen? I think
19 this language covers all of those possibilities and in my mind,
20 would allow NOAA Fisheries to use whatever tools they have in
21 their toolbox to see what kind of recreational and commercial
22 activity there is.
24 MR. PEARCE: I see where this is going. Robin, if we dropped it
25 back to that Section (e), would that satisfy you? I would like
26 to put it in, the use of that electronic logbook specifically,
27 because we did discuss it and we did have it in the other
28 documents and I would just like to put it back down and we can
29 put it down at the bottom of “commercial and recreational
30 fishing grounds” and using the electronic logbook to consider
31 areas of high shrimping effort and would that work for you, to
32 drop it down to (e)?
34 MR. RIECHERS: I’m trying to figure out how to weave it into
35 that sentence there, because you’re specifically saying use that
36 as one of the data sources.
38 MR. PEARCE: Right.
40 MR. RIECHERS: That makes sense, as well as any of the other
41 data sources that would be useful. Maybe right after “will
42 result in user conflicts with commercial or recreational
43 fishermen” --
45 MR. PEARCE: Including the use of electronic logbook data to
46 delineate areas of high shrimping effort or something like that?
48 MR. RIECHERS: What I would do here, Harlon, is if you and I
1 will work together before full council and let’s figure out
2 where it fits and instead of holding up Karen at this point in
3 time. We’ll work together to try and figure out how we can
4 wordsmith it into that.
6 MR. PEARCE: We have almost full council here and so I agree
7 with that. They understand what I’m trying to do and where
8 we’re trying to go and I’m just trying to make sure we use the
9 newest, most pertinent data when we make these sitings, to make
10 everybody happy.
12 MR. STRELCHECK: Harlon, would it help if instead of specifying
13 this in the alternative that we clarify the intent in the
14 discussion? Certainly there are other sources of data that
15 could be used to identify high-use fishing grounds, for instance
16 vessel monitoring systems.
18 It’s going to go beyond just shrimp effort and electronic
19 logbooks, but if we beefed up the discussion specific to this
20 issue of identifying important fishing grounds and how that
21 would be taken into consideration when siting these facilities,
22 would that cover your concerns?
24 MR. PEARCE: Why don’t we talk about that and bring it up at
25 full council and get it finished?
27 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: We have a motion on the board right now and so
28 how would you like to dispose of the motion?
30 MR. PEARCE: I’ll withdraw the motion.
32 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: The motion is withdrawn. Thank you. Were
33 there any other changes? Andy has one minor change to go
34 through, but, Julie, go ahead.
36 MS. MORRIS: I have a question about the one thing that’s
37 highlighted in yellow in ours, which is sub(e), which has to do
38 with important fishery habitats and then a parentheses and e.g.,
39 seagrass. Does that “e.g., seagrass” mean that it’s only
40 seagrasses that are important fishery habitats or are we
41 including in that hard bottoms and rock reefs and things like
44 MR. STRELCHECK: That was going to be the minor point that I was
45 going to make next. Previously in the alternative, we just
46 listed seagrasses and so we’ve broadened it to important fishery
47 habitats and used that as a for example, knowing that there are
48 going to be more than just seagrasses that are considered
3 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Is there a motion to accept the minor change?
5 MR. GILL: So moved.
7 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Moved by Bob and seconded by Joe. Any further
8 discussion? Seeing none, all in favor say aye; all opposed like
9 sign. The motion carries. Thank you. We’ve accepted that
12 MR. STRELCHECK: We didn’t have any changes to Action 7 and
13 ignore the slide that is in your briefing book, because it’s
14 mislabeled and it should have referred to Action 6, which is the
15 topic we just talked about.
17 In Action 8, we have Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements,
18 on page 68. The first alternative on the screen, this is
19 something that was clarified during the last council meeting and
20 rather than requiring permittees to submit monitoring reports
21 from other federal agencies to the National Marine Fisheries
22 Service, instead we’ve modified the language to have those
23 permittees maintain those monitoring reports for a period of
24 three years and make them available upon request.
26 In Alternative 2(c)(1), I wanted to bring this to your
27 attention, because it was overlooked during the council
28 discussion at the last meeting, but you had made I don’t know if
29 it was a motion or at least a recommendation to change the
30 definition for major escapement during committee. That wasn’t
31 brought up at full council. We went through the minutes and
32 reviewed that and we went ahead and changed the definition based
33 on your intent, but you might want to make another motion at
34 this meeting if you want to further clarify it.
36 There was also a couple of just minor details added to reporting
37 requirements for entanglements and interactions that would just
38 provide National Marine Fisheries Service with some additional
39 information, in the event that an entanglement or interaction
42 In Alternative 2(d), this is another item that we borrowed from
43 the State of Texas offshore aquaculture language and it would
44 allow NMFS to authority to order the removal of all cultured
45 organisms if suspect that a disease or pathogen exists which
46 pose a threat to the health of wild organisms.
48 One thing that Shep and I have discussed is how would this
1 process ultimately work? What happens if the permittee refuses
2 to remove the cultured organisms and who is responsible for it?
3 There is some complication to adding that alternative and so I
4 would like to hear some discussion of that.
6 In Alternatives 2(h) and 2(i), once again, this is something in
7 looking through Texas’s offshore aquaculture regulations -- They
8 have a seventy-two-hour reporting requirement for both harvest
9 and landing.
11 Right now, the Aquaculture FMP specifies a twenty-four-hour
12 requirement and so I’m just posing the question of whether or
13 not we would want to extend that reporting requirement to
14 seventy-two hours in advance of both harvest and landing. That
15 would certainly help in terms of enforcement being able to be at
16 a site or an operation when those activities occur.
18 The last one, once again, is also something from Texas
19 regulations and this is more of a checks and balances or an
20 accounting process that we would want to include that would
21 require permittees to maintain a daily record of animals
22 introduced or removed from each grow out system, including
25 This is to ensure that as fish are grown that those that were
26 stocked in the cage and then ultimately removed -- That they are
27 in fact cultured organisms and not being supplemented with wild
28 organisms that might be harvested or any other illegal
29 activities that could occur with relation to that. This would
30 just have permittees track mortalities and introductions of fish
31 into the cage systems.
33 MR. TEEHAN: Andy, I was just curious as to why in 2(d) we have
34 “disease” struck out and replaced with “pathogens”.
36 MR. STRELCHECK: Kevin Amos, who is our aquatic animal health
37 expert in Washington State, he was reviewing the national plan
38 and this would be inline and more consistent with the wording in
39 the national plan, as well as USDA regulations.
41 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Do you have other further suggested changes to
44 MR. STRELCHECK: Yes, I have another slide of changes. In
45 Alternative 2(m), this alternative was partially duplicative of
46 another alternative in Action 2. We simply just deleted the
47 text that was duplicative and clarified the intent of
48 Alternative 2(m).
2 In Alternative 2(n), it requires the permittee to submit a
3 report to the Regional Administrator after brood stock
4 collection is complete. Recall that we were requiring them to
5 make a request to National Marine Fisheries Service to go out
6 and collect brood stock. We recognized that we had no record
7 once that brood stock was collected of what did they in fact
8 collect and was it consistent with what they were being
9 permitted to collect and so we added that provision.
11 Then, based on recommendations at the previous council meeting,
12 we also included a description of how recordkeeping and
13 reporting requirements could be modified during catastrophic
14 conditions. This language was largely taken from what is done
15 for the IFQ program for red snapper and would be consistent with
18 Then another part of the document that’s new, that was added, is
19 on page 72. It’s not in the range of alternatives, but we
20 discussed the requirements for electronic reporting.
22 The submission of a lot of this information would be through
23 electronic reporting, although we acknowledge that certainly
24 some information wouldn’t necessarily be suitable for electronic
25 reporting and might have to be submitted either via hard copies
26 or notice being given through the phone, rather than
27 electronically. We wanted to add that and that’s, once again,
28 something that we’ve done now with the red snapper IFQ
29 amendment, as well as the grouper IFQ amendment. We’ve put in
30 provisions for electronic reporting in both of those actions.
32 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: That summarizes the suggested changes to Action
33 8. Any discussion?
35 MS. MORRIS: Could we add migratory birds to (c)(2), where it
36 talks about entanglements with marine mammals and endangered
37 species, to be consistent with what we did earlier?
39 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Would you like to make that in the form of a --
41 MS. MORRIS: I would move that we would add migratory birds to
44 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Is there a second? Susan seconds that.
46 MR. FRUGE: As an alternative to this, I might suggest that the
47 plan editor be given license to make that change globally,
48 wherever reference is made to the need to report entanglements,
1 throughout the document.
3 MS. MORRIS: Let’s add that to the motion, that we add it here
4 and anyplace else that there’s reference to entanglements with
5 marine mammals and endangered species.
7 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Susan, do you agree with that? Okay. There’s
8 a motion on the board.
10 MR. GRIMES: I was just curious if we had a definition, or if
11 Fish and Wildlife Service had one, of what constitutes a
12 migratory bird.
14 MR. FRUGE: I can’t speak to that for certain, but I believe
15 there is a list of all the species that are covered under the
18 MR. GRIMES: We should reference that, just so we know what
19 we’re dealing with.
21 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Julie, you’ll add a reference to the Act in
22 your motion? It says endangered species and -- Did you mean
23 just endangered species?
25 MS. MORRIS: It’s wherever it talks about endangered species and
26 marine mammals and include a reference to the U.S. Fish and
27 Wildlife Service of migratory birds. The IPT will figure out
28 where to place it.
30 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: There’s a motion on the board. Any further
31 discussion? Seeing none, all in favor say aye; all opposed like
32 sign. The motion passes.
34 MR. PERRET: Andy, is all certified animal health experts
35 licensed doctors of veterinary medicine? At the top of page 70,
36 we’re saying a certified animal health expert and at the top of
37 page 31, we’re saying an aquatic animal health expert that
38 provides services is defined as a licensed doctor of veterinary
39 medicine and blah, blah, blah. Just check that out for
40 consistency. Whatever is right is, I’m sure, acceptable.
42 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Is there a motion to accept the other changes
43 to Action 8?
45 MR. HENDRIX: I move to accept the changes.
47 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you. Is there a second to that?
48 Seconded by Bob. Any further discussion?
2 MS. MORRIS: I just wondered how many states have state hatchery
3 regulations. They’re referred to here. Do most of the states
4 have state hatchery regulations? If hatcheries are in the EEZ,
5 there won’t be any state regulations, right? There’s no state
6 hatchery regulations in Texas?
8 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Could you take us to that point?
10 MS. MORRIS: It’s (m), Permit applicants must provide NOAA
11 Fisheries Service copies of valid state and federal aquaculture
12 permits for each hatchery they obtain fingerlings from.
14 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you. Texas, would you like to be
17 MR. RIECHERS: It’s not actually issued by our agency, but
18 there’s a Department of Agriculture permit that would be for the
19 facility. Our agency gets involved when it deals with a species
20 permit, but there would be an equivalent state permit in this
21 case in Texas.
23 MR. ANSON: I’m not aware of any that we directly certify.
24 There may be something with our Department of Environmental
25 Management or something that would have to be given.
27 MR. TEEHAN: I believe that, like Texas, that Florida has the
28 Department of Agriculture permits and then my agency would
29 become involved for permitting brood collection and that sort of
32 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: It’s similar in Louisiana. We have a motion on
33 the board.
35 MR. ANSON: I’m just curious, but did we have any discussion
36 about the twenty-four versus seventy-two hours? Do we need to
37 discuss it?
39 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Actually, we have not had a discussion on that.
40 If we pass this, we would be passing it as “24(72)?” and so if
41 you would like to help clarify that, you’re welcome to make a
42 suggestion here.
44 MR. RAY: If the motion could potentially be amended to accept
45 the seventy-two-hour change, I do think it does help for the law
46 enforcement folks.
1 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Joe, would that be a friendly motion, to make
2 it seventy-two in both places?
4 MR. HENDRIX: That’s fine.
6 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you, Kevin, for bringing that up. Any
7 further discussion on the motion as it reads on the board right
8 now? All in favor say aye; all opposed like sign. The motion
9 passes. We have twenty-six minutes.
11 MR. STRELCHECK: Before we move on to the next action, we also
12 didn’t discuss the issue of ordering the removal of cultured
13 organisms if suspected disease or pathogen exists and I want to
14 hear at least some discussion of how the council would envision
15 that process or if we need to provide more specification in
16 terms of how that would work.
18 As I mentioned in describing this new alternative, the problem
19 becomes when you order the removal, who is responsible if the
20 permittee doesn’t want to remove them? Is the assurance bond
21 going to kick in at that point?
23 Then the determination of a suspected disease or pathogen at
24 least will be first made by an aquatic animal health expert and
25 then could be verified by NOAA Fisheries staff or law
26 enforcement or whoever else. At what point, I guess -- There
27 had to be a determination made as to whether that poses a
28 significant risk to the threatened risk of wild organisms.
29 There’s no threshold defined at this point. It’s a subjective
30 decision as worded.
32 MR. HENDRIX: As far as the removal goes, I think we expanded
33 the assurance bond to include removal of the fish, right?
34 Whatever mechanism was planned for that.
36 MR. RIECHERS: If we start dealing with the assurance bond, it
37 may be more difficult than that, because basically someone --
38 What you’re asking for is the removal immediately or within the
39 timeframe that you’ve accepted.
41 Basically, the way I see it happening is upon notification, the
42 individual is then in violation when they don’t have it removed
43 at such point in time. There’s a violation then that occurs and
44 then -- Obviously hopefully we’re still talking with those
45 individuals at that point in time and you would either have them
46 go ahead and remove or you would take the responsibility to find
47 someone to remove and then that’s when you will probably start
48 using the assurance bond, because then you would be being
1 recouped for your cost to get them removed.
3 An assurance bond is not necessarily going to be a removal
4 company and so I think that’s basically the steps you would have
5 to be working yourselves through and then the assurance bond
6 just assures you that you get paid for that or that the
7 individuals in some way pay. If they can’t do it, the assurance
8 bond says that there will be money to make it happen, basically.
10 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Further discussion?
12 MR. STRELCHECK: To that point, I went back to look at the
13 assurance bond language and it’s, I guess, been generalized a
14 little bit as we’ve moved forward with this document.
15 Previously, it referred to at least a one-time removal of
16 structures. It was expanded to removal of essentially all
17 components of an aquaculture facility.
19 In this instance, there could be just removal of cultured
20 species from that aquaculture facility and so maybe we need to
21 broaden how we’ve applied the assurance bond in Action 2 to
22 cover this particular issue.
24 MR. GRIMES: I wanted to comment on this. In terms of what Mr.
25 Riechers said, I would agree that we would view it as once we
26 know a pathogen is there, the agency issues what we’ll call an
27 order to remove those fish. If the entity refuses to remove
28 those fish, yes, they are then in violation.
30 In order to assess any penalty based on that violation, because
31 of requirements in the Magnuson Act, they would have to go
32 through a hearing. You would get the GCEL presumably that would
33 then step in and they would bring some sort of proceeding
34 against them.
36 The problem with that is we all know that is not a fast process
37 and in the meantime, there are these diseased fish or whatever
38 that are still out in the cages and so the question is how do we
39 handle removing those? When we get to the -- When we’re talking
40 about the performance bond, assurance bond, whatever, there’s
41 still some question as to how precisely would that be handled.
43 Now, we don’t have the capacity to go take the fish out of the
44 cage. As far as I know, NOAA has no such infrastructure and it
45 would be something that would have to be developed in order to
46 do that and, again, realities being what they are, I don’t see
47 that happening either.
1 Then you have -- When the assurance bond comes in -- Really, the
2 assurance bond, we view, or my office certainly at this point,
3 views it as being really a contract between two other
4 individuals. NOAA is not a party to that contract. NOAA can’t
5 be. We can’t take the money, if they give us the money. The
6 Miscellaneous Receipts Act would require us to put it in the
7 Federal Treasury, which is why we’ve set up this whole process
8 to begin with.
10 What happens when we issue that order to the company? If they
11 don’t want to get the fish out and they don’t tell the bond
12 holder or however it’s structured that they have an obligation
13 to remove the fish, we’re really at an impasse there. Maybe
14 some discussion as to how you would structure the contract
15 between the permitted entity and the bond holder, I guess.
17 MR. RIECHERS: You’re at the same impasse if they leave the
18 facility out there and walk away from it, if it’s only between
19 them and the bonding company. The bonding company is providing
20 you some assurance that they’re going to stand behind the
21 removal of that facility or in this case the removal of the
24 I’m not a bond lawyer. This should give you lots of work for
25 the next few years, Shep, or other lawyers. I’m not even going
26 to try to go down all of those scenarios, because I don’t know
27 what they are, Shep, and I think the IPT -- You guys have been
28 thinking about this and I don’t know that we can sit around this
29 table and figure out exactly what those steps are. I think we
30 probably are kind of at a point where we’ve kind of laid out
31 what we think would happen, but we’re not going to know exactly
32 how to get that done.
34 I think you guys are going to have to kind of work on that from
35 a contractual standpoint and a bonding perspective that would
36 make it reasonable. I’m past my ability to say where I think it
37 ought to head at this point in time, which is -- They’re in
38 violation and we need to find a way to ensure that if we think
39 there’s a problem that the fish are removed and then we follow
40 up from that point.
42 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Andy, does that give you some guidance, the IPT
43 team some guidance, that we want smarter people to figure it
46 MR. STRELCHECK: I’m going to talk to Shep after committee and
47 we’ll come back at full council maybe with a few more questions
48 on how to handle it.
2 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you. Next?
4 MR. STRELCHECK: Action 9, once again, we didn’t make any
5 changes to this particular action, other than we identified the
6 preferred alternatives as selected by the council during the
7 last meeting.
9 Those preferred alternatives are specifying that maximum
10 sustainable yield would be equivalent to optimum yield and
11 optimum yield would be specified at sixty-four million pounds of
12 annual production and that an individual, corporation, or entity
13 couldn’t produce more than 20 percent of optimum yield.
15 There’s also some control date provisions if planned production
16 exceeds the optimum yield level and existing management
17 benchmarks and thresholds for wild species would be used as
18 proxies to determine whether aquaculture is having impacts on
19 those resources.
21 Action 10 was added by the interdisciplinary planning team.
22 This is a new action of the document that pertains to framework
23 procedures. Alternative 1 would be no action, the council
24 wouldn’t specify framework procedures for modifying aquaculture
25 management measures and so anything done from here forward would
26 require a full plan amendment.
28 Alternatives 2 and 3 are intended to provide for timelier
29 implementation of regulations. Both of those alternatives would
30 establish an aquaculture advisory panel and panelists would
31 include scientists, aquaculture specialists, economists,
32 sociologists, a whole suite of people that the council could
33 include on the advisory panel.
35 The procedures for both Alternatives 2 and 3 are set up very
36 similarly. The authority of the panel and then ultimately what
37 regulations could be implemented and approved by the council is
38 much more limited under Alternative 2 than it is under
39 Alternative 3, but the intent of the advisory panel would be to
40 meet annually and essentially review several components of the
41 aquaculture program.
43 The first is how does annual planned production compare to the
44 MSY and OY levels specified by the council. The second is
45 review the status of marine resources and any biological
46 information, water quality information, and determine whether
47 there’s been any adverse effects related to aquaculture, based
48 on many of the considerations that are included in the
1 Aquaculture Fishery Management Plan, and the third would be to
2 evaluate economic and social effects of aquaculture on fishing
3 communities, to the extent that data and information is
6 They would have a review role and meet annually. From that
7 panel discussion, the framework procedures would then allow them
8 to put together a report and provide recommendations to the
9 council. The council could then review those changes and
10 recommend regulatory changes to the National Marine Fisheries
13 You can see the difference between Alternatives 2 and 3 here on
14 the next screen. Under Alternative 2, essentially the only
15 authority that the council and the panel would have is that they
16 could recommend changes to optimum yield and maximum sustainable
17 yield to National Marine Fisheries Service.
19 Under Alternative 3, those changes could be recommended, as well
20 as changes to your permit application requirements, operating
21 requirements, allowable system requirements, siting
22 requirements, and recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
23 It’s a much broader list of things that could be changed.
25 Once again, this is -- We expect that as we implement this
26 program that there are going to be changes necessary. If
27 problems arise, this would be a process that could help with
28 timelier implementation to resolve some of those issues and
31 One of the main differences between Alternatives 2 and 3, beyond
32 just what could or could not be changed, in terms of regulatory
33 actions, is that Alternative 2 would essentially provide the RA
34 authority to publish a rule in the Federal Register.
36 Shep and I have talked about this issue and it wouldn’t require
37 necessarily a regulatory amendment to be submitted to the
38 Secretary of Commerce or submitted to the Regional Administrator
39 for consideration, whereas Alternative 3 would require that
40 regulatory amendment, in addition to any other supporting
41 documentation provided by the panel and the council, as well as
42 public comments.
44 I’ve largely discussed everything on this slide at this point,
45 but for either alternative, the intent is still to provide
46 numerous opportunities for public comment. There would be
47 opportunities for public comment during the Aquaculture AP
48 meetings, when they meet, and when the council meets to discuss
1 those recommendations, as well as when information is submitted
2 to the National Marine Fisheries Service. That’s essentially a
3 rundown of the framework procedures and what’s being proposed.
5 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: We have a pretty big proposal here and there’s
6 a couple of ways of handling it. One might be to accept the
7 entire Action 10 and come back and pick a preferred alternative
8 or if somebody would like to move Action 10 with a preferred
9 alternative and then we can have all the discussion. It’s up to
10 the committee members.
12 MR. GILL: I move that we accept Action 10 as proposed and make
13 Alternative 3 our preferred.
15 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: There’s a motion on the floor. Is there a
18 MS. WALKER: Second.
20 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: It’s seconded by Bobbi. Discussion?
22 MS. MORRIS: I would like to hear some discussion from the mover
23 about why Alternative 3 should be the preferred.
25 MR. GILL: It seems to me that Alternative 3 is the one that
26 allows us to make changes as we go along and given the
27 innovative nature of what we’re embarking on, we need to have
28 that. There will be changes. We don’t have everything planned
29 out in advance. We’re not that smart. We need to have the
30 flexibility to modify this as we go along, to make sure that it
31 complies with what we need to do in the Gulf of Mexico.
33 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Further discussion?
35 MR. HENDRIX: I think this is a dynamic document that’s going to
36 need to be modified as we go along and learn new things about
37 the process and identify new areas for management. This
38 alternative would allow us to do that.
40 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Further discussion on the motion on the board?
41 Seeing none, all in favor of the motion say aye; all opposed
42 like sign. The motion passes.
44 MR. STRELCHECK: There’s no other changes that we’ve made to
45 alternatives or actions. I guess from here forward, based on
46 the recommendations you’ve made by committee, those changes can
47 be made fairly quickly, because we’ve already incorporated most
48 of them into the document directly.
2 We have yet to publish an environmental impact statement on this
3 document. However, the August 1 draft of the document you
4 received, with the exception of the social and economic
5 summaries, which now have been completed since the council
6 meeting started, the document has been revised entirely.
8 It does need to go through review by General Counsel and through
9 our National Environmental Policy Act Office, but we believe we
10 can file this document by early September and get it out for
11 public comment, based on the changes recommended today.
13 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Process-wise, we have three items that we’re
14 going to come back at full council to talk about. One is which
15 of the other important permits are transferable and, Andy, if
16 you could lead that charge and let us know.
18 Another one is Harlon and Robin were going to be working on
19 electronic logbook and fishing effort language and the third one
20 was something for Action 8(d). Andy and Shep will be discussing
21 how to make sure fish are removed if they are a threat. We’ll
22 have those discussions at full council. Are there any other
23 items on Tab J-4?
25 MR. HENDRIX: I had an additional question on this topic that
26 Corky brought up at the top of page 31 under Alternative 2,
27 Action 2 there, about the description of a licensed doctor of
28 veterinary medicine, his definition of the aquatic animal health
31 I thought we had included it as or certified by the American
32 Fisheries Society there, but it shows in here that it’s been
33 blocked out and changed. As Corky pointed out, that’s different
34 than the way it’s stated in the list of criterion on page 70.
36 MR. STRELCHECK: It goes back to what I had mentioned to Bill
37 Teehan, is that this is consistent with the definitions that
38 exist now for aquatic animal health and for the USDA and so the
39 change was made to reflect consistency in the earlier section,
40 but it wasn’t made in the later section and so I’ll correct that
41 and make sure --
43 MS. MORRIS: Were we going to go over the public comments?
45 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Yes, when we’re done with this part of it.
47 MR. PERRET: One more minor, I think minor -- I’m thinking like
48 Teehan. He made the statement at the last council meeting that
1 he was thinking like me on an issue and it worried him and this
2 worries me, but on page 69, under (d), we strike out “disease”
3 and have “pathogen”, but yet in the same sentence we leave
4 “disease/pathogen” in and if you go to page 83 and 85, we have
5 diseases and pathogens left in. Either take one out in all
6 places or keep it all in. I don’t know what’s best.
8 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you for being such a productive non-
9 member. We appreciate your review. Any other comments on the
10 FMP as it stands right now? Seeing none, we’ll move to Public
11 Comments, Tab J, Number 5.
13 DR. ASSANE DIAGNE: In July, we held a public hearing in Key
14 West, I believe it was July 21. Twelve members of the public
15 were in attendance and we recorded testimony from individuals
16 present, as well as representatives from environmental
19 To summarize their comments, concerns were expressed about water
20 pollution, risks to habitat for wild fish, the usage of feed,
21 the stability of cages in case of hurricanes, potential impacts
22 from disease, additional loss of fishing grounds.
24 A representative from an environmental organization asked
25 whether National Marine Fisheries Service and the council had
26 sufficient legal authority to permit and regulate aquaculture in
27 federal waters.
29 Testimony was also received in support of aquaculture,
30 indicating that when properly regulated and implemented that
31 aquaculture constitutes a safe and effective way of increasing
32 availability of fish and throughout the world there were
33 successful operations. That concludes the summary of the public
36 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you, Assane. At this point, are there
37 any committee recommendations? Full council will receive the
38 FMP draft as we’ve edited it here and no further comments, no
39 further committee recommendations? Any other business? Any
40 committee members have any other business?
42 I’ve got one request. I’ve asked Andy if he would briefly
43 review the MSS proposed rule, which does include an aquaculture
44 component. It will just take a very short few minutes.
46 OTHER BUSINESS
48 MR. STRELCHECK: I’ll try to keep this brief. Unfortunately,
1 it’s not in the presentation. In 2005, the Energy Policy Act
2 was passed and that allows for marine-related alternative uses
3 of facilities that are authorized in the Outer Continental Shelf
4 Lands Act, I think it is.
6 Then that authority was delegated to the Minerals Management
7 Service. They started developing an environmental impact
8 statement soon thereafter and they published a draft and final
9 environmental impact statement in 2007.
11 Then more recently, what people have probably read about, is a
12 proposed rule was published on July 9, 2008. Currently, there
13 is a comment period that ends September 8, 2008 for that
14 proposed rule and so that comment period is ongoing.
16 We’ve looked through the proposed rule. It’s fairly lengthy and
17 has a fairly long preamble to it and there’s fairly limited
18 information with regard to aquaculture in the document. I
19 believe aquaculture is referenced three or four times in the
20 proposed rule.
22 The proposed rule does reference that at least at this point
23 activities on the outer continental shelf -- The MMS doesn’t
24 believe anyone has authority to regulate it and MMS believes
25 that at least they’re able to authorize the use of an existing
26 facility for offshore aquaculture activities under what they’re
27 calling an alternative right of use and easement permit.
29 That’s essentially what’s been proposed. The proposed rule
30 though goes on to say that they recognize that there are other
31 federal government agencies that have regulatory responsibility
32 and this new regulatory authority isn’t expressly going to
33 supersede or modify those federal regulations.
35 That’s kind of where the NOAA Fisheries role comes in, as well
36 as the role of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army
37 Corps of Engineers. You have numerous federal agencies that
38 would be involved in permitting offshore aquaculture.
40 Based on our interpretation, recall that in the fishery
41 management plan that aquaculture is defined as fishing and
42 therefore, it’s subject to the requirements of the Magnuson-
43 Stevens Act and aquaculture operations in federal waters must be
44 consistent with any fishery management regulations that exist.
46 The council is proceeding down the path of implementing a
47 fishery management plan and at least with the proposal as it
48 stands now, the view is that MMS would not have authority in
1 terms of the permitting requirements. We would have that
2 authority to regulate species allowed and all the requirements
3 that are part of this fishery management plan, once it’s
6 If it’s not approved and implemented, then there would be more
7 of a consultation role, in terms of NOAA Fisheries Service. We
8 would consult under the Endangered Species Act, under the
9 Essential Fish Habitat Provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act,
10 and several other authorities, but it would be a consultation
13 I guess the other part of this is that exempted fishing permits
14 would likely still be required if the species is federally
15 managed and so there would still be some other requirements. At
16 that point, we’re really trying to find out more from MMS in
17 terms of what they view their authority as and there’s really no
18 specific regulations in the proposed rule with regard to
19 aquaculture. It’s just general statements that this would be
20 one activity that would be allowed as an alternative use.
22 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Andy, how does our draft plan -- What do we say
23 about aquaculture on petroleum platforms?
25 MR. STRELCHECK: We’re not specifically prohibiting it. We had
26 that discussion a couple of council meetings back. The use of
27 oil and gas platforms would be allowed. We recognize that MMS
28 would have authority, potentially, to permit or lease that
31 There would be probably some bonding requirements and some
32 liability issues, but those would be related to MMS and not to
33 our authority, with regard to aquaculture.
35 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Thank you. Roy, I guess Commerce and Interior
36 are meeting daily about this or --
38 DR. CRABTREE: I don’t know if they’re meeting daily, but I know
39 there have been discussions about it.
41 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: You don’t see a dead-end that we’re going down
44 DR. CRABTREE: No.
46 CHAIRMAN FOOTE: Any comments on this item? Seeing none, any
47 further business? Seeing none, the committee stands adjourned.
1 (Whereupon, the meeting adjourned at 10:30 o’clock p.m., August
2 13, 2008.)
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