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NOAA Fisheries Announces a Final Rule to Revise Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Archival Tag Management Measures

August 18, 2016

This final rule revises the requirement in 50 CFR ยง 635.33 for persons surgically implanting archival tags to Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) or externally affixing archival tags to such species to obtain written authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).  Archival tags are tags that electronically record scientific information about the migratory behavior of fish.  This includes tags that are surgically implanted within a fish and tags that are externally affixed, such as pop-up satellite (PSAT) and smart position and temperature tags (SPOT).  This rule only affects persons placing archival tags.  The rule does not impact the placement of other tags such as spaghetti or roto tags, acoustic tags such as acoustic tags, or passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags

As of September 19, 2016, the final rule;

Fishermen are encouraged to return archival tags and any other information requested directly to the researcher(s) noted on the tag or to NMFS.

This notice is a courtesy to the HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fishery.  Official notice of Federal actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of Federal Register.  Responses to the public comments received at the proposed rule stage can be found in the final rule.  For further information on this final rule, contact Larry Redd, Tobey Curtis, Craig Cockrell, or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at 301-427-8503.  Copies of the rule are available upon request from the Highly Migratory Species Management Division, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (phone: 301-427-8503, fax: 301-713-1917). 

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