National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration February 22, 2007 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish Observer Program
NMFS issues a proposed rule to amend regulations implementing the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program (Observer Program). This action is necessary to avoid expiration of these regulations on December 31, 2007, and ensure uninterrupted observer coverage in North Pacific groundfish fisheries. The proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area and the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMPs).
Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Application for an Exempted Fishing Permit
NMFS announces the receipt of an exempted fishing permit (EFP) application, and the intent to issue EFPs for vessels participating in an observation program to monitor the incidental take of salmon and groundfish in the shore-based component of the Pacific whiting fishery. The EFPs are necessary to allow trawl vessels fishing for Pacific whiting to delay sorting their catch, and thus to retain prohibited species and groundfish in excess of cumulative trip limits until the point of offloading. These activities are otherwise prohibited by Federal regulations. The EFPs will be effective no earlier than April 1, 2007, and would expire no later than December 31, 2007, but could be terminated earlier under the terms and conditions of the EFPs and other applicable laws.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan
The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (AA), NOAA, announces temporary restrictions consistent with the requirements of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan's (ALWTRP) implementing regulations. These regulations apply to lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet fishermen in an area totaling approximately 1,245 nm\2\ (4,270 km\2\)in February and approximately 387 nm\2\ (1,327 km\2\)in March, southeast of Boston, MA, for 15 days. The purpose of this action is to provide protection to an aggregation of northern right whales (right whales).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Rock Sole, Flathead Sole, and “Other Flatfish” by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is closing directed fishing for the rock sole, flathead sole, and ``other flatfish'' fishery category by vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the first seasonal allowance of the 2007 halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl rock sole, flathead sole, and ``other flatfish'' fishery category in the BSAI.