50 CFR § 622.35 - Gear restricted areas.

§ 622.35 Gear restricted areas.

(a) Reef fish stressed area. The stressed area is that part of the Gulf EEZ shoreward of rhumb lines connecting, in order, the points listed in Table 2 in Appendix B of this part.

(1) A powerhead may not be used in the stressed area to take Gulf reef fish. Possession of a powerhead and a mutilated Gulf reef fish in the stressed area or after having fished in the stressed area constitutes prima facie evidence that such reef fish was taken with a powerhead in the stressed area.

(2) A roller trawl may not be used in the stressed area. Roller trawl means a trawl net equipped with a series of large, solid rollers separated by several smaller spacer rollers on a separate cable or line (sweep) connected to the footrope, which makes it possible to fish the gear over rough bottom, that is, in areas unsuitable for fishing conventional shrimp trawls. Rigid framed trawls adapted for shrimping over uneven bottom, in wide use along the west coast of Florida, and shrimp trawls with hollow plastic rollers for fishing on soft bottoms, are not considered roller trawls.

(b) Seasonal prohibitions applicable to bottom longline fishing for Gulf reef fish.

(1) From June through August each year, bottom longlining for Gulf reef fish is prohibited in the portion of the Gulf EEZ east of 85°30' W. long. that is shoreward of rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points:

Point North lat. West long.
A 28°58.70′ 85°30.00′
B 28°59.25′ 85°26.70′
C 28°57.00′ 85°13.80′
D 28°47.40′ 85°3.90′
E 28°19.50′ 84°43.00′
F 28°0.80′ 84°20.00′
G 26°48.80′ 83°40.00′
H 25°17.00′ 83°19.00′
I 24°54.00′ 83°21.00′
J 24°29.50′ 83°12.30′
K 24°26.50′ 83°00.00′

(2) Within the prohibited area and time period specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a vessel with bottom longline gear on board may not possess Gulf reef fish unless the bottom longline gear is appropriately stowed, and a vessel that is using bottom longline gear to fish for species other than Gulf reef fish may not possess Gulf reef fish. For the purposes of paragraph (b) of this section, appropriately stowed means that a longline may be left on the drum if all gangions and hooks are disconnected and stowed below deck; hooks cannot be baited; and all buoys must be disconnected from the gear but may remain on deck.

(3) Within the Gulf EEZ east of 85°30′ W long., a vessel for which a valid eastern Gulf reef fish bottom longline endorsement has been issued that is fishing bottom longline gear or has bottom longline gear on board cannot possess more than 750 hooks rigged for fishing at any given time. For the purpose of this paragraph, “hooks rigged for fishing” means hooks attached to a line or other device capable of attaching to the mainline of the longline.

(c) Reef fish longline and buoy gear restricted area. A person aboard a vessel that uses, on any trip, longline or buoy gear in the longline and buoy gear restricted area is limited on that trip to the bag limits for Gulf reef fish specified in § 622.38(b) and, for Gulf reef fish for which no bag limit is specified in § 622.38(b), the vessel is limited to 5 percent, by weight, of all fish on board or landed. The longline and buoy gear restricted area is that part of the Gulf EEZ shoreward of rhumb lines connecting, in order, the points listed in Table 1 in Appendix B of this part.

(d) Alabama SMZ. The Alabama SMZ consists of artificial reefs and surrounding areas. In the Alabama SMZ, fishing by a vessel that is operating as a charter vessel or headboat, a vessel that does not have a commercial permit for Gulf reef fish, as required under § 622.20(a)(1), or a vessel with such a permit fishing for Gulf reef fish is limited to hook-and-line gear with three or fewer hooks per line and spearfishing gear. A person aboard a vessel that uses on any trip gear other than hook-and-line gear with three or fewer hooks per line and spearfishing gear in the Alabama SMZ is limited on that trip to the bag limits for Gulf reef fish specified in § 622.38(b) and, for Gulf reef fish for which no bag limit is specified in § 622.38(b), the vessel is limited to 5 percent, by weight, of all fish on board or landed. The Alabama SMZ is bounded by rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points:

Point North lat. West long.
A 30°02.5′ 88°07.7′
B 30°02.6′ 87°59.3′
C 29°55.0′ 87°55.5′
D 29°54.5′ 88°07.5′
A 30°02.5′ 88°07.7′
[78 FR 22952, Apr. 17, 2013, as amended at 82 FR 34580, July 25, 2017; 83 FR 5212, Feb. 6, 2018]

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