Notice of Availability of Final Stock Assessment Reports
As required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS has incorporated public comments into revisions of marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs). These reports for 2006 are now final and available to the public.
National Standard 1 Guidelines; Scoping Process
NMFS announces several scoping meetings for the environmental impact statement for implementation of annual catch limit (ACL) and accountability measure (AM) requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2006 (MSRA). Such guidance would be added to the National Standard 1 Guidelines. These scoping meetings are in addition to those that were announced and published in a Federal Register notice on February 28, 2007. Note that the date of the scoping meeting to be held at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting has been changed from March 29, 2007, to March 27, 2007.
Fisheries off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Overfishing Determination of Petrale Sole
This action serves as a notice that NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), has determined that overfishing is occurring in fisheries for petrale sole. NMFS notified the Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) of its determination by letter. The Pacific Council is required to take action within 1 year following NMFS notification that overfishing is occurring or a stock is approaching overfishing, a stock is overfished or approaching an overfished condition, or existing remedial action taken to end overfishing or rebuild an overfished stock has not resulted in adequate progress.
Pacific Halibut Fishery; Guideline Harvest Levels for the Guided Recreational Halibut Fishery
NMFS provides notice of the guideline harvest levels (GHL) for the guided sport halibut fishery (charter fishery) in the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) regulatory areas 2C and 3A. The GHLs provide a benchmark harvest level for participants in the charter fishery. This notice is necessary to meet the management and regulatory requirements for the GHLs and to inform the public about the 2007 GHLs for the charter fishery.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring 69,558 lb (31,551 kg) of commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Virginia from its 2007 quota. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Rocket Launches from Kodiak, AK
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that a 1-year letter of authorization (LOA) has been issued to the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation (AADC), to take Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) and Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) incidental to rocket launches from the Kodiac Launch Complex (KLC).
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Sea Turtle Conservation Requirements
In response to requests from members of the public, NMFS extends the public comment period on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) regarding potential amendments to regulatory requirements for turtle excluder devices (TEDs) for an additional 60 days, through May 18, 2007, for the purpose of receiving comments on the ANPR, published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2007.
Availability of Grant Funds for Fiscal Year 2007
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service publishes this notice to reopen the competitive solicitation for the Chesapeake Bay Cooperative Science Program which was originally published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2006. The solicitation period was reopened to provide the public more time to submit proposals.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Amendment 13 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan
NMFS announces that the New England Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 13 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (Amendment 13), incorporating the public hearing document and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), for review by the Secretary of Commerce and is requesting comments from the public. The goal of Amendment 13 is to implement an observer service provider mechanism for the scallop fishery that would re-active the industry-funded observer program and the scallop total allowable catch (TAC) and days-at-sea (DAS) set-aside program to help defray the cost of carrying observers. Observer coverage in the scallop fishery is necessary to monitor the bycatch of finfish and interactions with threatened and endangered species. Amendment 13 specifies criteria for observer service providers, observer certification, decertification, and observer deployment logistics. Additionally, Amendment 13 allows adjustments to the observer program to be done by framework action.
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Regulations; Announcement of Effective Date
On October 12, 2006, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a final rule (71 FR 60055) issuing a final management plan, revised designation document and final regulations for the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, the final regulations would automatically take effect at the end of 45 days of continuous session of Congress beginning on October 12, 2006. The 45-day review period ended on February 16, 2007. This document confirms the effective date as February 16, 2007.