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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BI61 Publication ID: Spring 2020 
Title: Amendment 9 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Coral Reef in the Gulf of Mexico U.S. Waters and an Abbreviated Framework Action Identifying Deployment of Fishing Gear 

This rulemaking action would identify and protect specific areas of coral essential fish habitat in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf). This rulemaking would implement a recommendation of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to establish 21 new coral habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC) in the Gulf--totaling about 372 nautical miles squared or roughly .2 percent of Gulf waters. In 13 of these areas--where waters are extremely deep and fishing activity is sparse--the deployment of specified bottom tending fishing gear would be prohibited. There would be no prohibition on the deployment of fishing gear in the other eight areas. The action would also add a prohibition on the deployment of dredge fishing gear in 3 of the existing Gulf HAPCs in which other bottom tending gear is prohibited. This would be consistent with the prohibition proposed for the 13 new HAPCs with gear prohibitions as well as the current regulatory prohibitions recommended by the Council and implemented by NMFS in four existing HAPCs.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Not subject to, not significant 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 622   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
Notice of Availability  09/26/2019  84 FR 50814   
NPRM  11/15/2019  84 FR 62491   
NPRM Comment Period End  12/16/2019 
Final Action  06/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Roy E. Crabtree
Regional Administrator, Southeast Region
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
263 13th Avenue South,
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone:727 824-5305
Fax:727 824-5308