Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Cannonball Jelly Resource Protection

REGULATIONS

Regulations are an essential part of managing and protecting Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary for current and future generations. People are interested in using the sanctuary for a variety of activities, such as research, fishing, photography, and diving. Some uses have a greater potential for impacting the natural resources than others. Some activities may not have a measurable effect in small amounts, yet have an undesirable cumulative effect if the amount of the activity is too great. The challenge is to strike a balance in what types and intensities of use are allowed so that those uses are sustainable and the resources are available to be enjoyed for generations to come.

The following regulations apply throughout the entire area of the sanctuary, both in and outside of the Research Area. Additional regulations (see below) apply in the Research Area only.

Note that the text below is intended as summary only; for the full text of sanctuary regulations, see 15 CFR 922 Subpart I .

Activities prohibited sanctuary-wide:

  • Dredging, drilling into, or otherwise altering in any way the submerged lands of the Sanctuary (including bottom formations).
  • Constructing any structure other than a navigation aid, placing, or abandoning any structure, material, or other matter on the submerged lands of the Sanctuary.
  • Discharging or depositing any material or other matter except fish or fish parts, bait, chumming materials, effluent from marine sanitation devices, and vessel cooling water.
  • Operating a watercraft other than in accordance with the Federal rules and regulations that would apply if there were no Sanctuary.
  • Injuring, catching, harvesting, or collecting, or attempting to injure, catch, harvest, or collect, any marine organism, or any part thereof, living or dead, within the Sanctuary by any means except by use of rod and reel, and handline gear.
  • Using any fishing gear within the Sanctuary except rod and reel, and handline gear.
  • Using underwater any explosives, or devices that produce electric charges underwater.
  • Breaking, cutting, damaging, taking, or removing any bottom formation.
  • Moving, removing, damaging, or possessing, or attempting to move, remove, damage, or possess, any Sanctuary historical resource.
  • Anchoring any vessel in the Sanctuary, except when responding to an emergency threatening life, property, or the environment.
  • Possessing or carrying any fishing gear within the Sanctuary except rod and reel or handline gear, unless it is stowed on a vessel and not available for immediate use.
  • Possessing or carrying spearfishing gear within the Sanctuary unless it is stowed on a vessel and not available for immediate use and the vessel is passing through the Sanctuary without interruption.

Activities Prohibited In The Research Area:

  • Injuring, catching, harvesting, or collecting, or attempting to injure, catch, harvest, or collect, any marine organism, or any part thereof, living or dead.
  • Using any fishing gear, or possessing, or carrying any fishing gear unless such gear is stowed and not available for immediate use while on board a vessel transiting through the research area without interruption or for valid law enforcement purposes.
  • Diving.
  • Stopping a vessel in the research area.

Additionally, there are other existing federal laws regarding fishing, and protected species like marine turtles and mammals, that apply in the Sanctuary. Federal fisheries and protected species regulations are available from the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council or National Marine Fisheries Service - Southeast Region .

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Revised July 28, 2014 by Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Webmaster | User Survey
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