National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration January 30, 2007 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Species Fisheries
NMFS issues a proposed rule to amend text in the regulations governing closures of the drift gillnet fishery in the Pacific Loggerhead Conservation Area during El Nino events under the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP). The regulation is necessary to avoid jeopardizing loggerhead sea turtles, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, by clarifying the time period in which the area is to be closed and the methods that NMFS will use to determine if an El Nino event is occurring or forecast to occur. NMFS also proposes to correct an inaccurate cross-reference in the regulations governing special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles under the HMS FMP.
Marine Mammals; Pinniped Removal Authority
NMFS received an application under Section 120 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) from the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho requesting authorization to intentionally take, by lethal methods, individually identifiable California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) that prey on Pacific salmon and steelhead (Onchorhynchus spp.) listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon. This authorization is requested as part of a larger effort to protect and recover listed salmonid stocks in the river. NMFS has determined that the application contains sufficient information to warrant convening a Pinniped-Fishery Interaction Task Force (Task Force), which will be established after the close of the public comment period. NMFS solicits public comments on the application, other information related to pinniped predation on salmonids at Bonneville Dam, and nominations for potential members of the Task Force.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications and Management Measures
This action implements 2007 specifications and management measures for Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish (MSB) and modifies existing management measures. Specifically, it implements trimester quota allocations for the Loligo squid fishery and establishes the protocol for an inseason adjustment to increase the mackerel harvest, if landings approach harvest limits. Lastly, this final rule clarifies, updates, and corrects existing regulatory language that is misleading or incorrect. This action promotes the utilization and conservation of the MSB resource.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Observer Health and Safety
This proposed rule would enhance the safety of observers and the efficiency of their deployment. The proposed rule would clarify prohibited actions regarding observers, reinforce that an observer may not be deployed or stay aboard an unsafe vessel, clarify when a fishing vessel is inadequate for observer deployment and how an owner or operator can resolve discrepancies, improve communications between observer programs and fishing vessel owners and operators, and provide for an alternate safety equipment examination of certain small fishing vessels. This proposed rule is necessary to maintain and improve the safety and effectiveness of fishing vessel observers in carrying out their duties as authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and the fishery management plans and regulations adopted under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The 94th meeting of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council's (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will convene Tuesday, February 20, 2007, through Thursday February 22, 2007. The meeting will be held between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for specific times, dates, and agenda items.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council), its Bycatch/Limited Access Privilege Program (LAPP) Committee, its Ecosystem Committee, its Tilefish Committee, its Executive Committee, and its Law Enforcement Committee will hold public meetings.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels 60 Feet (18.3 Meters) Length Overall and Using Pot Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) and longer using pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2007 Pacific cod allowable catch (TAC) specified for catcher vessels using pot gear in the BSAI.