The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) does hereby give public notice that on October 15, 2019 at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission on Marine Resources, the Commission approved a Notice of Intent to update, modify and change below listed sections of Title 22 Part 7. Said Notice of Intent was filed with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office on October 15, 2019. A complete copy of Title 22 Part 7 and the proposed changes are available are available at www.dmr.ms.gov. Public comments on the proposed regulation changes will be accepted through November 11, 2019. All comments should be mailed to the MDMR, Attn: Trevor Moncrief, 1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39530 or emailed to: Trevor Moncrief at firstname.lastname@example.org and delivered by 5:00 PM on November 11, 2019.
Complete description of proposed changes:
Chapter 09 Commercial Size, Possession and Catch Limits
100.28 Small Coastal Sharks – twenty-five (25) inches total length
100.29 Large Coastal Sharks – thirty-seven (37) inches total length
102 The practice of “finning”, that is, removing only the fins and returning the remainder of the shark to the sea is unlawful.
103102 It shall be unlawful for any commercial fishermen to possess any Cobia smaller than thirty-three (33) inches fork length or to possess more than a daily bag limit of two (2) Cobia per person.
104103 It shall be unlawful for any commercial fisherman, person, firm or corporation, to sell, barter or trade any species of reef fish (identified in Chapter 09 Sections 100.08 through 100.25) without possessing the proper federal permits and/or licenses required by the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan and complying with any other conditions set forth by federal or state regulations for the management of the identified reef fish.
105104 It shall be unlawful for any commercial fisherman, person, firm or corporation, to possess or harvest from Mississippi territorial waters, in excess of three thousand pounds (3,000) of King Mackerel, per vessel, per trip, per day.
106105 It shall be unlawful for person, firm, or corporation to sell or purchase the following species of billfish without the proper federal documentation: Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans), White Marlin (Tetrapturus albidus), and Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus).
107106 From and after January 1, 2012 the annual Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for commercial landings of flounder (Paralicthys sp.) will be set at seventy-four thousand (74,000) pounds. The 2012 commercial fishing season for landing flounder shall commence on January 1, 2012 and end December 31, 2012. Thereafter, the TAC shall commence on January 1 and end on December 31 of each subsequent year. The commercial fishing season for the current season will run from October 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011 and the TAC will be set at ninety-two thousand five hundred (92,500) pounds.
108107 From and after October 1, 2015 the annual Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for commercial landings of Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) will be set at sixty thousand (60,000) pounds. The TAC shall commence on January 1st and end on December 31st of each year. The commercial TAC for the fishing season shall be divided into three four month periods as follows: January 1st – April 30th twenty thousand pounds (20,000); May 1st – August 31st twenty thousand pounds (20,000); September 1st – December 31st twenty thousand pounds (20,000). In the event the commercial TAC is not met or exceeded in any time period, the pounds shall be added or subtracted to the following time period.
109108 From and after February 1st, 2013 the annual Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for commercial landings of Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) will be set at fifty thousand (50,000) pounds. The 2015 commercial fishing season for landing Spotted Seatrout shall commence on February 1st, 2015 and end October 31, 2015 and each subsequent year thereafter. The commercial TAC for the fishing season shall be divided into two periods as follows: February 1st – May 31st twenty-five thousand pounds (25,000); June1st – October 31st twenty-five thousand pounds (25,000). In the event the commercial TAC is not met or exceeded in the first time period (February 1st – May 31st) the pounds shall be added or subtracted to the second time period (June1st – October 31st).
110109 Beginning January 1, 2019 individuals commercially harvesting Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) must possess a Spotted Seatrout endorsement ($10.00) in addition to a current applicable harvester’s license. To qualify for this endorsement an application must be completed. For the 2019 fishing season the fisher must present documentation that a minimum of twenty (20) percent of their taxable income came from commercial fishing activities in a previous tax year between 2013-2018. Documentation shall be a copy of the appropriate filed IRS tax form showing the applicant’s taxable income for one of those years. A Marine Fisheries Trip Ticket officer will then run a sales summary for the year chosen using trip tickets to determine if the eligibility requirement has been met. This endorsement will be valid for a one-year period at which time a new application with qualifying documents for the previous tax year shall be submitted for a new endorsement. The endorsement will be valid from January 1st – December 31st each year. In the event of a hardship approved by the Commission, the department may consider qualifying documents for the two years prior to the onset of the hardship.
111110 The following provisions are provided to address safety concerns and allow fishermen to have another individual on board in case of an emergency.
For commercial hook and line fishermen, if only two fishermen are aboard a vessel commercially harvesting Spotted Seatrout, one of the fishermen is not required to possess the Spotted Seatrout endorsement; however, that fisherman is required to possess an applicable commercial harvester’s license. If two or more commercial hook and line fishermen possessing the Spotted Seatrout endorsement are aboard a vessel commercially harvesting Spotted Seatrout, all fishermen aboard the vessel are required to possess the Spotted Seatrout endorsement.
For net fishermen, the vessel must possess a valid fishing boat license and if only two fishermen are aboard a vessel commercially harvesting Spotted Seatrout, one of the fishermen is not required to possess the Spotted Seatrout endorsement. If two or more net fishermen possessing the Spotted Seatrout endorsement are aboard a vessel commercially harvesting Spotted Seatrout, all fishermen aboard the vessel are required to possess the Spotted Seatrout endorsement.
112111 It shall be unlawful for any commercial fisherman to possess a daily bag limit of more than three (3) Tripletail per person.
113112 If any person, firm, or corporation, barters, sells, offers to sale or transports for sale or possesses for sale in the State of Mississippi any species of fish under the lengths or for which the fishing season is closed as prescribed in Title 22 Part 7 said person, firm or corporation shall possess valid documentation from the state or country of origin evidencing that the fish were legally harvested.
113 Beginning January 1, 2020, any individual or vessel commercially harvesting small coastal or large coastal sharks in Mississippi’s territorial waters must possess a MDMR shark endorsement (10.00) in addition to a current applicable harvester license. In addition, all individuals applying for a shark endorsement must be a Mississippi resident and present documentation of the successful completion of a MDMR approved shark identification exam and protected species safe handling workshop. The open season in Mississippi territorial waters for the commercial harvest of sharks shall run concurrent with federal shark seasons for the Western Gulf of Mexico Sub-Region.
113.01 The practice of “finning”, that is, removing only the fins and returning the remainder of the shark to the sea is unlawful. All sharks commercially harvested in Mississippi state territorial water must be landed in whole form with fins naturally attached by at least some portion of uncut skin. Sharks may be gutted prior to landing.
113.02 It shall be unlawful for any commercial fisherman to possess a daily bag limit of more than twenty-five (25) small and large coastal sharks in aggregate per vessel per day.