Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Essential Fish Habitat
In order to provide additional opportunities for the public, the Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Councils, the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions, and other interested parties to comment on the Essential Fish Habitat Draft Amendment 1 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP), NMFS is extending the comment period for this action. On September 19, 2008, NMFS published a Notice of Availability (NOA) of a draft environmental impact statement and a fishery management plan amendment. Based on the September 19, 2008, notice, the comment period was scheduled to conclude on November 18, 2008. NMFS is now extending the comment period until December 12, 2008. Comments received by NMFS on the Draft Amendment will be used in the development of Final Amendment 1 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP.
Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements
NMFS issues this temporary rule for a period of 30 days, to allow shrimp fishermen to use limited tow times as an alternative to Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) in state waters off of Texas (extending offshore 9 nautical miles from the Texas/Louisiana boundary southward to the boundary shared by Matagorda and Brazoria Counties; approximately 95[deg] 32' W. long.). The previous 30-day variance of the TED requirements was from October 8 through November 7, 2008. This action is necessary because environmental conditions resulting from Hurricane Ike persist on the fishing grounds, preventing some fishermen from using TEDs effectively.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Processors Using Hook-and-Line Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher processors using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2008 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to catcher processors using hook-and-line gear in the BSAI.