National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting (Webinar)
Document Number: 2017-26975
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) will host the Area 2A Pacific Halibut Managers Coordination Meeting via webinar. The meeting is open to the public.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North Atlantic Swordfish Fishery
Document Number: 2017-26901
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-12-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is adjusting the Swordfish (SWO) General Commercial permit retention limits for the Northwest Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. Caribbean regions for January through June of the 2018 fishing year, unless otherwise later noticed. The SWO General Commercial permit retention limit in each of these regions is increased from the regulatory default limits (either two or three fish) to six swordfish per vessel per trip. The SWO General Commercial permit retention limit in the Florida SWO Management Area will remain unchanged at the default limit of zero swordfish per vessel per trip. These adjustments apply to SWO General Commercial permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat permitted vessels when on a non-for-hire trip. This action is based upon consideration of the applicable inseason regional retention limit adjustment criteria.
International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; 2017 Purse Seine FAD Fishery Closure
Document Number: 2017-26879
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-12-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that U.S. purse seine vessels will be prohibited from fishing on fish aggregating devices (FADs) in the area of application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention) in the area between the latitudes of 20[deg] N. and 20[deg] S., as a result of reaching the 2017 limit on FAD sets. This action is taken to enable the United States to implement provisions of a conservation and management measure adopted by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission) and to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention, to which it is a Contracting Party.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications
Document Number: 2017-26840
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-12-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes revised longfin squid, Illex squid, and butterfish specifications for the 2018 fishing year and projected specifications for fishing years 2019 and 2020. NMFS previously set specifications for Atlantic mackerel for three years in 2016 (2016- 2018) and, therefore, new Atlantic mackerel specifications will not be included in this year's specification rulemaking. This action is necessary to specify catch levels for the squid and butterfish fisheries based upon updated information on stock status. These proposed and projected specifications are intended to promote the sustainable utilization and conservation of the squid and butterfish resources.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Halibut Bycatch Management in the Groundfish Fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
Document Number: 2017-26734
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS, in consultation with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), announces its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a new halibut bycatch management program for groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI), in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). The proposed action would create a new method of managing halibut bycatch that links halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits for the groundfish fisheries to data on halibut abundance. The proposed action is intended to provide a responsive approach for managing halibut bycatch at varying levels of halibut abundance. The new program would minimize halibut bycatch to the extent practicable while achieving, on a continuing basis, optimum yield from the groundfish fisheries. The new management program also could provide additional opportunity for the directed halibut fishery at low levels of halibut abundance compared to the status quo and promote conservation of the halibut spawning stock biomass, particularly at low levels of abundance. The EIS will analyze the impacts to the human environment resulting from the proposed bycatch management program. NMFS will accept written comments from the public to identify the issues of concern and assist the Council in determining the appropriate range of management alternatives for the EIS.
International Affairs; U.S. Fishing Opportunities in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Regulatory Area
Document Number: 2017-26665
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We are announcing 2018 fishing opportunities in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area. This action is necessary to make fishing privileges in the NAFO Regulatory Area available on an equitable basis to the extent possible. The intended effect of this notice is to alert U.S. fishing vessels of the NAFO fishing opportunities, to relay the available quotas available to U.S. participants, and to outline the process and requirements for vessels to apply to participate in the 2018 NAFO fishery.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; National Marine Sanctuary Permits
Document Number: 2017-26664
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Application Forms for Membership on a National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council
Document Number: 2017-26663
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2017-26662
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Pacific Island Fisheries; 2017 Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures
Document Number: 2017-26624
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In this final rule, NMFS specifies annual catch limits (ACLs) for Pacific Island crustacean, precious coral, and territorial bottomfish fisheries, and accountability measures (AMs) to correct or mitigate any overages of catch limits. The ACLs and AMs will be effective for fishing year 2017. Although the 2017 fishing year has nearly ended for most stocks, we will evaluate 2017 catches against these final ACLs when data become available in mid-2018. The proposed ACLs and AMs support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery; Proposed 2018-2020 Fishing Quotas
Document Number: 2017-26577
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes status quo commercial quotas for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries for 2018 and projected status quo quotas for 2019 and 2020. This action is necessary to establish allowable harvest levels of Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs that will prevent overfishing and allow harvesting of optimum yield. This action would also continue to suspend the minimum shell size for Atlantic surfclams for the 2018 fishing year. The intended effect of this action is to provide benefit to the industry from stable quotas to maintain a consistent market.
Endangered Species; File Nos. 21198 and 21434
Document Number: 2017-26493
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Southeast Regional Office, Century Boulevard, Atlanta, GA 30602 [Responsible Party: Allan Brown], has applied in due form for a permit [File No. 21198] to take captive shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) and Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) for purposes of scientific research and enhancement. Additionally the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, 904 South Morris Street, Oxford, Maryland 21654 [Responsible Party: Brian Richardson], has applied in due form for a permit [File No. 21434] to take captive Atlantic sturgeon for purposes of conducting scientific research and enhancement.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
Document Number: 2017-26492
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS closes the General category fishery for large medium and giant (i.e., measuring 73 inches curved fork length or greater) Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) for the December subquota time period and thus for the remainder of 2017. The intent of this closure is to prevent overharvest of the available December subquota of 12.7 mt and the adjusted 2017 General category quota of 688.7 metric tons (mt).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; 2018 and 2019 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
Document Number: 2017-26477
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications, apportionments, and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2018 and 2019 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; 2018 and 2019 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
Document Number: 2017-26473
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2018 and 2019 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2017-26468
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2017-26467
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Economic Impacts of Diving and Snorkeling Expenditures in Hawaii
Document Number: 2017-26466
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of a 5-Year Review for the Endangered Western Distinct Population Segment of Steller Sea Lion
Document Number: 2017-26435
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, announce our intent to conduct a 5-year review for the endangered western distinct population segment (DPS) of Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We are required by the ESA to conduct 5-year reviews to ensure that the listing classifications of species are accurate. The 5- year review must be based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. We request submission of any such information on the Western DPS of Steller sea lion, particularly information on the status, threats, and recovery of the species that has become available since the final listing determination in May, 1997.
Marine Mammals; File No. 21339
Document Number: 2017-26391
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that Kerri Smith, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 West University Ave., El Paso, Texas 79968, has applied in due form for a permit to receive, import and export marine mammal specimens for scientific research.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Document Number: 2017-26354
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, and the Skagit River System Cooperative and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have jointly submitted a steelhead fishery resource management plan (RMP) to NMFS pursuant to the limitation on take prohibitions for actions conducted under Limit 6 of the 4(d) Rule for salmon and steelhead promulgated under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The plan proposes to manage the harvest of natural-origin Skagit River (Washington State) steelhead as an independent steelhead management unit within the ESA-listed Puget Sound steelhead demographic population segment (DPS). The Plan proposes to implement these Skagit River steelhead fisheries pursuant to U.S. v. Washington. This document serves to notify the public of the availability for comment of the proposed evaluation and pending determination of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) as to whether the RMP meets the criteria under Limit 6 of the 4(d) Rule and as to whether implementation of the RMP will appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery of ESA- listed Puget Sound steelhead and Puget Sound Chinook salmon.
International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Revised 2018 Commercial Fishing Restrictions for Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean; 2018 Catch Limit
Document Number: 2017-26146
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-12-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is proposing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to revise trip limits on the commercial catch of Pacific bluefin tuna applicable to 2018. U.S. commercial fishing vessels are subject to a biennial limit for 2017 and 2018. Preliminary estimates indicate that the catch limit in 2018 is approximately 120 metric tons (mt). To avoid exceeding the biennial limit, NMFS is proposing a 1-mt trip limitexcept for large-mesh drift gillnet vessels, which would be subject to a 2-mt trip limit throughout 2018 or until the 2018 catch limit is reached and the fishery is closed. This action is necessary to contribute to the rebuilding of Pacific bluefin tuna and for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC).
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2017-26309
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Joint Habitat Advisory Panel and Plan Development Team to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops
Document Number: 2017-26308
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in January, February, and March of 2018. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and to maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2018 and will be announced in a future notice.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To Identify the Northwest Atlantic Leatherback Turtle as a Distinct Population Segment and List It as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act
Document Number: 2017-26276
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-12-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to identify the Northwest Atlantic subpopulation of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and list it as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition and information readily available in our files present substantial scientific and commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. We are hereby initiating a status review of the leatherback turtle to determine whether the petitioned action is warranted and to examine the species globally with regard to application of the DPS Policy in light of significant new information since the original listing. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to the leatherback turtle from any interested party.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Charter/Headboat Permit Commercial Sale Provision
Document Number: 2017-26275
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-12-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This final rule creates a separate permit endorsement provision for the commercial sale of Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) by HMS Charter/Headboat permit holders. Prior to implementation of this final rule, all vessels issued an HMS Charter/Headboat permit could be categorized as commercial fishing vessels and could be subject to United States Coast Guard (USCG) commercial fishing vessel safety requirements regardless of whether the permit holder engages or intends to engage in commercial fishing. Under this final rule, HMS Charter/ Headboat permit holders will be prohibited from selling Atlantic tunas, swordfish, or sharks unless they obtain a commercial sale endorsement for their permit. This final rule will clarify which HMS Charter/ Headboat permitted vessels are properly categorized as commercial fishing vessels for purposes of USCG safety requirements. This action is administrative in nature and will not affect fishing practices or result in any significant environmental effects or economic impacts.
Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2017 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for the Territory of American Samoa
Document Number: 2017-26227
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-12-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces a valid specified fishing agreement that allocates up to 1,000 metric tons (t) of the 2017 bigeye tuna limit for the Territory of American Samoa to identified U.S. longline fishing vessels. The agreement supports the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands, and fisheries development in the CNMI.
Requirements of the Vessel Monitoring System Type-Approval
Document Number: 2017-26197
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-12-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
All owners of vessels participating in a NOAA Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) program are required to acquire a NMFS-approved Enhanced Mobile Transmitting Unit (EMTU) or Mobile Transmitting Unit (MTU) to comply with the Vessel Monitoring System requirements. This proposed action would amend the existing VMS Type-Approval regulations by removing the requirement for VMS vendors to periodically renew their EMTU/MTU type-approvals. This renewal process has proved to be unnecessary, has cost fishermen and approved VMS vendors additional time and expense, and has imposed unnecessary costs on the government. Removing the type-approval renewal requirement will spare fishermen, VMS vendors and the government the time and expense associated with the renewal process.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the State of New Jersey
Document Number: 2017-26176
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-12-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the 2017 summer flounder commercial quota allocated to the State of New Jersey has been harvested. Vessels issued a Federal commercial summer flounder permit may not land summer flounder in New Jersey for the remainder of calendar year 2017, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer from another state. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notice to advise vessel and dealer permit holders that Federal commercial quota is no longer available to land summer flounder in New Jersey.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: 2017-26044
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-12-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from trawl catcher vessels (3,083 metric tons (mt)), American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawl catcher/processors (205 mt), and jig vessels (94 mt) to hook-and-line catcher/processors (2,732 mt) and pot catcher/ processors (650 mt) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the 2017 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; National Saltwater Angler Registry
Document Number: 2017-26025
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; West Coast Region Vessel Identification Requirements
Document Number: 2017-26024
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; West Coast Region Gear Identification Requirements
Document Number: 2017-26023
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Gull and Climate Research in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Document Number: 2017-25910
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from the National Park Service (NPS) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to glaucous- winged gull and climate monitoring research activities in Glacier Bay National Park (GLBA NP), Alaska. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorizations and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review Workshops
Document Number: 2017-25872
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-12-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS solicits nominations for the ``SEDAR Pool,'' also known as the Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) Workshops. The SEDAR Pool is comprised of a group of individuals who may be selected to consider data and advise NMFS regarding the scientific information, including but not limited to data and models, used in stock assessments for oceanic sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. Nominations are being sought for a 5-year appointment (2018-2023). Individuals with definable interests in the recreational and commercial fishing and related industries, environmental community, academia, and non-governmental organizations will be considered for membership on the SEDAR Pool.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Regulatory Amendment 6 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Document Number: 2017-25847
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-12-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues regulations to implement the measures described in Regulatory Amendment 6 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule revises the method used to trigger the application of accountability measures (AM) for Council-managed reef fish species or species groups in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off Puerto Rico. The purpose of this final rule is to increase the likelihood that optimum yield (OY) is achieved on a continuing basis and to minimize, to the extent practicable, adverse socio-economic effects of AM-based closures.
Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2017 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Bigeye Tuna Fishery; Closure
Document Number: 2017-25801
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-11-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is closing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean because the fishery will reach the 2017 allocation limit for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). This action is necessary to comply with regulations managing this fish stock.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Cost Recovery Programs
Document Number: 2017-25800
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-11-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS publishes standard prices and fee percentages for cost recovery for the Amendment 80 Program, the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Program, the Aleutian Islands Pollock (AIP) Program, and the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) groundfish and halibut Programs. The fee percentage for 2017 is 0.71 percent for the Amendment 80 Program, 0.19 percent for the AFA inshore cooperatives, 0.21 percent for the AFA catcher/processor sector, 0.22 percent for the AFA mothership cooperative, 0 percent for the AIP program, and 0.55 percent for the CDQ groundfish and halibut Programs. This action is intended to provide the 2017 standard prices and fee percentages to calculate the required payment for cost recovery fees due by December 31, 2017.
Endangered Species; File No. 21260
Document Number: 2017-25794
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-11-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center [Responsible Party: Michael Seki, Ph.D.], 1845 Wasp Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96818, has applied in due form for a permit to take green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Waterfront Improvement Projects at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
Document Number: 2017-25783
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-11-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Department of the Navy (Navy) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to continued construction activities as part of waterfront improvement projects at several Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (the Shipyard) berths in Kittery, Maine. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorization and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2017-25766
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-11-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee will hold a webinar to review the 2017 Plan B Operational Assessment for Atlantic Halibut. Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting (Webinar)
Document Number: 2017-25765
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-11-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Ad hoc Ecosystem Workgroup (EWG) will hold a meeting via webinar to discuss the work associated with the Climate Change and Communities Initiative. The meeting is open to the public.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Several Groundfish Species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: 2017-25759
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-11-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS apportions amounts of the non-specified reserve to the initial total allowable catch (ITAC) of Aleutian Islands (AI) Greenland turbot, AI ``other rockfish,'' Bering Sea (BS) sablefish, Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Alaska plaice, BSAI northern rockfish, BSAI ``other flatfish,'' BSAI shortraker rockfish, BSAI sculpin, BSAI skates, and Central and Western Aleutian Islands (CAI/WAI) blackspotted/rougheye rockfish in the BSAI management area. This action is necessary to allow the fisheries to continue operating. It is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the fishery management plan for the BSAI management area.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer
Document Number: 2017-25697
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-11-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the Commonwealth of Virginia is transferring a portion of its 2017 commercial bluefish quota to the State of Rhode Island. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial bluefish quotas for Virginia and Rhode Island.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
Document Number: 2017-25685
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-11-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the Commonwealth of Virginia is transferring a portion of its 2017 commercial summer flounder quota to the State of Rhode Island. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for Virginia and Rhode Island.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; Re-Opening of the Recreational Sector for Red Snapper
Document Number: 2017-25645
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-11-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces the re-opening of the recreational sector for red snapper in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic through this temporary rule. The most recent preliminary recreational harvest information for red snapper indicate the recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for the limited 2017 fishing season has not yet been reached. Therefore, NMFS re-opens the recreational sector for red snapper in the South Atlantic EEZ for 3 days (see DATES) to allow the recreational ACL to be caught, while minimizing the risk of the recreational ACL being exceeded.
International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Restrictions on Fishing for Sharks in the Eastern Pacific Ocean
Document Number: 2017-25617
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-11-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is issuing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement Resolution C-16-05 (Resolution on the Management of Shark Species) of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) adopted in July 2016. Per the Resolution, these regulations require purse seine vessel owners, operators, and crew to follow specified release requirements for sharks in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO). These regulations also prohibit longline vessels targeting tuna or swordfish in the EPO from using ``shark lines'' (a type of fishing gear used on longline vessels to target sharks). This rule is necessary for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Biennial Specifications
Document Number: 2017-25614
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-11-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes to implement annual harvest specifications and management measures to establish the allowable catch levels for Pacific mackerel in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington) for the fishing years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. This rule is proposed pursuant to the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The proposed harvest guideline (HG) and annual catch target (ACT) for the 2017-2018 fishing year are 26,293 metric tons (mt) and 25,293 mt respectively. The proposed HG and ACT for the 2018-2019 fishing year are 23,840 mt and 22,840 mt respectively. If the fishery attains the ACT in either fishing year, the directed fishery will close, reserving the difference between the HG and ACT as a 1,000 mt set-aside for incidental landings in other CPS fisheries and other sources of mortality. If the HG is reached, all retention would be prohibited through the end of the fishing year. This rule is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific mackerel stock off the U.S. West Coast.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meetings
Document Number: 2017-25640
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-11-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold public meetings of the Council and its Committees.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: 2017-25562
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-11-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2017 Pacific Ocean perch total allowable catch (TAC) in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI.