Proposed Rule by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service has filed notice of a proposed rule which requires review by the MS Department of Marine Resources to ensure compliance with the state’s approved Coastal Program under the Coastal Zone Management Act.

The proposed rule would implement Amendment 15 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan. In general, Amendment 15 considers ways to modify, collect data, and assess areas that are currently closed to commercial pelagic longline or bottom longline fishing. Amendment 15 considers modifications to the boundaries and/or timing of existing closed areas based on delineation of high- and low-bycatch risk areas that were identified using a new spatial modeling tool, HMS Predictive Spatial Modeling (PRiSM). Additionally, Amendment 15 considers data collection programs in the high- and low-bycatch risk areas. Amendment 15 also would provide for regular and as-needed review of areas to identify whether conservation and management goals are being met. In addition, Amendment 15 would provide factors to consider during review of areas, which address the high-level design elements of specific objectives, data collection and access, and the timing of continued evaluation of these, or any future, spatial management areas. Lastly, Amendment 15 considers a cost allocation program to transfer 100 percent of the HMS pelagic longline electronic monitoring sampling costs to the industry, over a 3-year phased in period, while NOAA Fisheries remains responsible for administrative costs.

View the full text of the proposed rule and NOAA’s cover letter explaining the rule at the links below.

Any person wishing to make comments or objections to the proposed activity must submit those comments in writing to Brett James by mail at the Department of Marine Resources at 1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi 39530, by email at, or by using the form below before 1:00 p.m. on the day May 31, 2023. 

Comment Submission Form

You should receive an acknowledgement of your comment from Brett James by email. If you do not receive this acknowledgement, please contact