Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee
This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC). The members will discuss and provide advice on issues outlined in the agenda below.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council's (Council) Observer Policy Committee will meet to review scientific information affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Skates Management in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Habitat Areas of Particular Concern
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 104 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). If approved, Amendment 104 to the FMP would designate six areas of skate egg concentration as Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC). Designating the six areas of skate egg concentration as HAPC in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) would highlight the importance of this essential fish habitat for conservation. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Low-Energy Marine Geophysical Survey in the Scotia Sea and South Atlantic Ocean, September to October 2014
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an IHA to the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Polar Programs, and Antarctic Support Contract (ASC) on behalf of two research institutions, University of Texas at Austin and University of Memphis, to take marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to conducting a low-energy marine geophysical (seismic) survey in the Scotia Sea and South Atlantic Ocean, September to October 2014.
International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Restrictions on the Use of Fish Aggregating Devices in Purse Seine Fisheries for 2015
NMFS proposes regulations under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act) to establish restrictions on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) by U.S. purse seine vessels in the western and central Pacific Ocean. The restrictions would include a prohibition on the use of FADs during January and February and July through September of 2015, and a limit of 3,061 purse seine sets that may be made on FADs in 2015. This action is necessary for the United States to implement provisions of a conservation and management measure (CMM) adopted by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC) and to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention), to which it is a Contracting Party.
Marine Mammals; File No. 14330
Notice is hereby given that a major amendment to Permit No. 14330-01 has been issued to the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, Tribal Government, Ecosystem Conservation Office, St. Paul Island, AK 99660.
Identifying Research Funding Priorities for a Potential Competitive Financial Assistance Program Addressing the Conservation and Recovery of Pinnipeds in Waters off Alaska
NMFS is considering the adoption of a new competitive, merit- based, financial assistance program supporting research on Alaska pinniped populations (seals and sea lions). To this end, NMFS is soliciting comments from the public and the marine mammal research community concerning possible program priorities to consider for an annual Alaska Pinniped Research Program. The objective of the program would be to support effective conservation and management of pinnipeds in waters off Alaska through a grant program focused on high priority research objectives related to NMFS recovery plans, conservation plans, research plans (including those developed with Alaska Native co- management organizations), or post-delisting monitoring plans for these species. Final competitive program priorities will be selected by NMFS after considering input received from the public.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Surveys Along the Oregon and California Coasts
NMFS has received an application from the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Study of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to rocky intertidal monitoring surveys. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to PISCO to incidentally take, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during the specified activity.