08.02.05.07

.07 Atlantic Menhaden.

A. Quota.

(1) The annual total allowable landings of Atlantic menhaden for the commercial fishery is set by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and shall be published through a public notice issued in accordance with §F of this regulation.

(2) Any annual overages of the quota will be deducted from the subsequent year’s quota.

B. Seasons. A public notice shall be issued in accordance with §F of this regulation when the quota and season are approved by the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission.

C. Commercial Catch Limits.

(1) Prior to the State quota in §A of this regulation being met or exceeded, there is no catch limit for Atlantic menhaden.

(2) Upon the State quota being met or exceeded, the catch limit for Atlantic menhaden and the harvest rate at which an Atlantic menhaden bycatch allowance landing permit is required shall be established and may be modified through a public notice issued in accordance with §F of this regulation.

D. Atlantic Menhaden Bycatch Allowance Landing Permits.

(1) An individual may apply for an Atlantic menhaden bycatch allowance landing permit if, as of February 18, 2013, the individual had a pound net site registered with the Department.

(2) An individual may be issued only one Atlantic menhaden bycatch allowance landing permit.

(3) A permittee shall have in possession the Atlantic menhaden bycatch allowance landing permit when engaged in permitted activities.

(4) Operators.

(a) An operator means an individual who is not a permittee and acts as an agent of a permittee.

(b) The only person a permittee may use as the operator of their Atlantic menhaden bycatch allowance landing permit is the individual the permittee has designated as the authorized user of the permittee’s commercial fishing license in accordance with Natural Resources Article, §4-701(k)(7), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(c) An operator may only fish the pound nets that the permittee has:

(i) Registered in the permittee’s name; and

(ii) Notified the Department as being active in accordance with COMAR 08.02.25.07.

(d) When engaged in permitted activities, an operator shall be:

(i) In possession of the permittee’s tidal fish license and Atlantic menhaden bycatch allowance landing permit; and

(ii) On the vessel named on the permittee’s tidal fish license.

(5) Atlantic menhaden bycatch allowance landing permits may not be transferred and are valid only for the named individual on the permit card or their operator as described in §D(4) of this regulation.

(6) A permittee or a permittee’s operator shall be on board any boat harvesting Atlantic menhaden under an Atlantic menhaden bycatch allowance landing permit.

E. Reporting.

(1) Reporting Requirements. In addition to the requirements of Natural Resources Article, §4-206, Annotated Code of Maryland:

(a) Any Atlantic menhaden harvested from a pound net must be reported on the day of harvest in the manner specified by the Department; and

(b) An Atlantic menhaden bycatch allowance landing permittee shall report in the manner specified by the Department.

(2) Reporting Penalties.

(a) The Department may suspend the holder of an Atlantic menhaden bycatch allowance landing permit from participation in the menhaden fishery for up to 90 days per violation for failing to comply with §E(1)(b) of this regulation.

(b) In addition to any other penalty, the Department may deny an application for an Atlantic menhaden bycatch allowance landing permit for failing to comply with §E(1) of this regulation during the previous season.

(c) Prior to suspending a permit under this regulation or denying an application for a permit, the Department shall give the licensee notice of its intended action and an opportunity to appear at a hearing conducted in accordance with the contested case procedures set forth in State Government Article, Title 10, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland, and COMAR 08.01.14.

F. General.

(1) When the menhaden quota, established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, has been met, the Secretary may issue a public notice on the Fisheries Service website to modify the season and catch limits in compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan.

(2) The Secretary shall make a reasonable effort to disseminate a public notice issued under this section through various other media so that an affected individual has a reasonable opportunity to be informed.

(3) A violation of the restrictions set by the Secretary in accordance with section is a violation of this regulation.