The National Park Service (NPS) is in the process of issuing a rule (proposed rule) to revise its regulations regarding commercial fishing in Biscayne National Park (the "park"). There are four key elements of the proposed rule:
(1) Non-transferable lifetime permit system that would phase out commercial fishing in the park as permits expire over time;
(2) Prohibition of the setting of commercial lobster or crab traps in identified Coral Reef Protection Areas (CRPAs);
(3) Shrimp trawler inspections to ensure that trawl gear complies with state law; and
(4) Prohibition of commercial fishing for sponge and tropical ornamental marine life species.

As part of the rulemaking process, this report presents a cost-benefit analysis consistent with Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, "Regulatory Planning and Review." It also presents an analysis of the potential impacts on small entities, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the 1996 Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Below is a summary of the findings of each analysis.
This analysis follows Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance to estimate and present costs and benefits of the proposed rule and alternatives, which are measured as changes in producer and consumer surplus. Impacts are analyzed for the study area, which is comprised of the park and surrounding areas, over a 20-year study period (2016 through 2035).
Costs. This analysis finds that costs of the proposed rule will primarily stem from requirements for non-transferable commercial fishing permits and the prohibition of commercial lobster and crab trap placement in CRPAs. Rule costs will primarily be borne by commercial fishers. Because the response of fishers to fishing restrictions could vary, costs to fishers are estimated using two potential scenarios:
• Scenario 1 assumes that fishers who are not able to fish within the park due to the proposed rule forego their fishing trips. The economic costs of the proposed rule under this scenario would be the associated foregone producer surplus, estimated as lost fishing profits.
• Scenario 2 assumes that fishers who are not able to fish within the park due to the proposed rule expend additional effort to maintain their catch by fishing outside of the park. Under this scenario, the economic costs of the proposed rule would be the added costs incurred by the fishers to maintain their catch.
The analysis suggests that annualized costs to commercial fishers may range from $220,000 to $260,000, depending on the response of commercial fishers to the proposed rule and the discount rate chosen for the analysis. Of these total costs, approximately 50 percent are anticipated to be associated with impacts to invertebrate fishers (excluding shrimp fishers) related to the rule element regarding prohibition on commercial lobster and crab traps in CRPAs and 50 percent are related to the non-transferable permit system rule element. Other proposed rule elements are not expected to result in incremental costs.
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