Marine Mammals; File No. 764-1703-02
Notice is hereby given that the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20008-2598 [Principal Investigator: Charles Potter], has been issued an amendment to scientific research Permit No. 764-1703-01.
Endangered Species; File No. 1506
Notice is hereby given that Blair E. Witherington, Ph D., Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Melbourne Beach Field Laboratory, 9700 South A1A, Melbourne Beach, FL 32951, has requested an modification to scientific research Permit No. 1506-01.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Scup Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for 2008 Winter II Period
NMFS announces the closure of the scup commercial coastwide fishery from Maine through North Carolina for the Winter II Period. Regulations governing the scup fishery require publication of this notification to advise the coastal states from Maine through North Carolina that this quota has been harvested and to advise Federal vessel permit holders and Federal dealer permit holders that no commercial quota is available for landing scup in these states. Federally permitted commercial vessels may not land scup in these states for the remainder of the 2008 Winter II quota period (through December 31, 2008).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Yellowfin Sole by Vessels Participating in the Amendment 80 Limited Access Fishery in Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is closing directed fishing for yellowfin sole by vessels participating in the Amendment 80 limited access fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2008 halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl yellowfin sole fishery category by vessels participating in the Amendment 80 limited access fishery in the BSAI.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Rock Sole, Flathead Sole, and “Other Flatfish” by Vessels Participating in the Amendment 80 Limited Access Fishery in Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for rock sole, flathead sole, and ``other flatfish'' by vessels participating in the Amendment 80 limited access fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2008 halibut bycatch allowance specified for the trawl rock sole, flathead sole, and ``other flatfish'' fishery category by vessels participating in the Amendment 80 limited access fishery in the BSAI.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the State of New Jersey
NMFS announces that the 2008 summer flounder commercial quota allocated to the State of New Jersey has been harvested. Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in New Jersey for the remainder of calendar year 2008, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer from another state. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise New Jersey that the quota has been harvested and to advise vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders that no commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in New Jersey.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Critical Habitat for Threatened Elkhorn and Staghorn Corals
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), issue a final rule designating critical habitat for elkhorn (Acropora palmata) and staghorn (A. cervicornis) corals, which we listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), on May 9, 2006. Four specific areas are designated: the Florida area, which comprises approximately 1,329 square miles (3,442 sq km) of marine habitat; the Puerto Rico area, which comprises approximately 1,383 square miles (3,582 sq km) of marine habitat; the St. John/St. Thomas area, which comprises approximately 121 square miles (313 sq km) of marine habitat; and the St. Croix area, which comprises approximately 126 square miles (326 sq km) of marine habitat. We are excluding one military site, comprising approximately 5.5 square miles (14.3 sq km), because of national security impacts.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revise Maximum Retainable Amounts of Groundfish Using Arrowtooth Flounder as a Basis Species in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS proposes a regulatory amendment to revise the maximum retainable amounts (MRAs) of groundfish using arrowtooth flounder as a basis species in the Gulf of Alaska. This action would increase the MRAs from 0 percent to 20 percent for deep-water flatfish, rex sole, flathead sole, shallow-water flatfish, Atka mackerel, and skates; from 0 percent to 5 percent for aggregated rockfish; and from 0 percent to 1 percent for sablefish. The intended effect of this action is to reduce regulatory discards of otherwise marketable groundfish in the arrowtooth flounder fishery. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, and other applicable law.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Regulatory Amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico
NMFS, Southeast Region, in collaboration with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council), intends to prepare a DEIS to describe and analyze management alternatives to be included in a regulatory action taken under the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Reef Fish FMP). These alternatives will consider measures to reduce the incidental take of sea turtles by the bottom longline component of the reef fish fishery. The purpose of this NOI is to solicit public comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program
Congress amended the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) to require the Secretary of Commerce to approve the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program (CR Program). The CR Program allocates Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands crab resources among harvesters, processors, and coastal communities. Amendment 28 would modify the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP) and the CR Program to allow unlimited post-delivery transfers of all classes of individual fishing quota and individual processing quota. This action is necessary to improve the flexibility to the fleet, reduce the number of violations for overages, reduce enforcement costs, and allow for more complete harvest of allocations. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Science Advisory Board (SAB); Draft Report of the NOAA Science Advisory Board Social Science Working Group
NOAA Research (OAR) publishes this notice on behalf of the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) to announce the availability of the draft report of the SAB Social Science Working Group (here called SSWG) for public comment. The draft report of the SSWG has been prepared pursuant to the request initiated from the NOAA for an external panel of experts to carry out an independent review of current social science research conducted by NOAA and examine how the results of the research are being developed and incorporated into the operations of NOAA.
National Weather Service (NWS); NOAA Science Advisory Board's Environmental Information Services Working Group
The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere requested the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) to obtain input from a standing working group, the Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG), as a mechanism to address interactions between NOAA and its Partners. The initial focus of the EISWG is to advise on issues raised and enhance effective collaboration between the National Weather Service and its partners. The composition of the Working Group will reflect those interests. The EISWG will be composed of 15-18 members, who, by reason of knowledge, experience or training, are especially qualified to represent users of NOAA environmental information services, including, but not limited to, the commercial weather industry (both value-added and end-users), academia, and the media. Membership may also include representatives of federal, state and regional government agencies and non-governmental agencies. NOAA is requesting nominations for membership in the SAB EISWG.
Incidental Takes of Marine Mammals During Specified Activities; Marine Seismic Surveys in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, January-February, 2009
NMFS has received an application from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DEO) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a seismic survey in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS requests comments on its proposal to authorize L-DEO to take, by Level B harassment only, small numbers of marine mammals incidental to conducting a marine seismic survey during January through February, 2009.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces that the State of Connecticut, the State of Rhode Island, the State of Delaware, and the State of Maryland are transferring commercial bluefish quota to the State of New York from their 2008 quota. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council(s (Council) Herring Oversight Committee will meet to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for the Proposed Replacement of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Southwest Fisheries Science Center Located in La Jolla, CA
NOAA announces the availability for comment a joint Draft EIS/ EIR analyzing the environmental impacts of replacing its Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) near the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) within the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) campus in La Jolla, California. Publication of this notice is to request public comment on the Draft EIS/EIR and its associated environmental findings and to provide information as to how to participate.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene scoping meetings to address loggerhead sea turtle interactions with reef fish bottom longlines.
Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Pelagic Fisheries; Squid Jig Fisheries
This final rule designates three species of pelagic squid as management unit species, and establishes permitting and reporting requirements for squid jig fishing vessels over 50 ft (15.4 m) in length. These vessels will also be required to carry Federal observers if requested by NMFS. The final rule is intended to improve information on squid jig fisheries and their ecosystem impacts, and to provide a basis for future management of the fishery, if needed.
Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Crustacean Fisheries; Deepwater Shrimp
This final rule implements Amendment 13 to the Fishery Management Plan for Crustacean Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region (Crustacean FMP). The rule designates deepwater shrimp of the genus Heterocarpus as management unit species (MUS), and requires Federal permits and data reporting for deepwater shrimp fishing in Federal waters of the western Pacific. The final rule is intended to improve information on deepwater shrimp fisheries and their ecosystem impacts, and to provide a basis for future management of the fisheries, if needed.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received applications for scientific research from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS- Stockton) in Stockton, CA (13791), and from FISHBIO Environmental, LLC (FISHBIO) in Chico, CA (14092). Notice is also given that NMFS has received an application to modify a permit for scientific research from the Interagency Ecological Program (IEP), in Stockton, CA (1440). These permits would affect the federally endangered Sacramento River winter- run Chinook salmon and the threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs), the federally threatened Central Valley steelhead Distinct Population Segment (DPS), and the federally threatened southern Distinct Population of North American green sturgeon (southern DPS of green sturgeon). Permit 1440 would also affect threatened Central California Coast steelhead. This document serves to notify the public of the availability of the permit applications for review and comment.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Termination of Expansion of Emergency Fishery Closure Due to the Presence of the Toxin that Causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
NMFS is announcing the termination of the revised and expanded Northern Temporary Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) Closure Area, which became effective on July 2, 2008, and the return of the Northern and Southern Temporary PSP Closure Areas to their boundaries, previously implemented on January 1, 2008, and effective through December 31, 2008. Thus, the effect of this notice will be to partially reopen a large area around Nantucket Island to the harvest of certain shellfish species. Regulations governing fishery closures in response to public health threats require concurrence with the Secretary of Health and Human Services prior to any NMFS action on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Northern Rockfish in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is opening directed fishing for northern rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the 2008 total allowable catch (TAC) of northern rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a joint meeting of the Standing and Special Mackerel Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC).
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a meeting of the Mackerel Advisory Panel (AP).
Endangered and Threatened Species; Critical Habitat for the Endangered Distinct Population Segment of Smalltooth Sawfish
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), propose to designate critical habitat for the U.S. DPS of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), which was listed as endangered on April 1, 2003, under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed critical habitat consists of two units: the Charlotte Harbor Estuary Unit, which comprises approximately 221,459 acres of coastal habitat; and the Ten Thousand Islands/Everglades Unit (TTI/E), which comprises approximately 619,013 acres of coastal habitat. The two units are located along the southwestern coast of Florida between Charlotte Harbor and Florida Bay.
Extension of Deadline for Seats for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council
NOAA is extending the deadline for applications for the following seats on the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council (Council): Commercial Fishing alternate, Business alternate. Applicants are chosen based upon: Their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying, community and professional affiliations, views regarding the protection and management of marine resources, and the length of residence in the communities located near the Sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve in a volunteer capacity for 2-year terms, pursuant to the Council's Charter.
Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Regulations; Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Regulations; and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary Regulations
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is issuing final revised management plans and revised regulations for the Gulf of the Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries (GFNMS, CBNMS, and MBNMS respectively). This final rule updates the existing regulations for these three sanctuaries and establishes new regulatory prohibitions for them. New prohibitions contained in this final rule include restrictions on: the introduction of introduced species; discharges from cruise ships and other vessels; attracting or approaching white sharks in GFNMS; anchoring vessels in seagrass in Tomales Bay; deserting vessels; motorized personal watercraft use in the MBNMS (definition revision); and, possessing, moving, or injuring historic resources. This final rule also codifies three dredge disposal sites in the MBNMS that existed prior to the MBNMS designation in 1992 and expands the boundaries of the MBNMS to include the Davidson Seamount and surrounding area.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Halibut in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) from rockfish cooperatives in the Central Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Rockfish Pilot Program to vessels using trawl gear in the GOA. This action is necessary to provide the opportunity to vessels using trawl gear to harvest available GOA groundfish total allowable catch (TAC) under existing PSC limits.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is opening directed fishing for groundfish by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time, November 16, 2008. This action is necessary to fully use the 2008 Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limit specified for vessels using trawl gear in the GOA.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council), its Omnibus Annual Catch Limits/Accountability Measures (ACL/AM) Committee, its Research Set-Aside (RSA) Committee, its Ecosystems and Ocean Planning Committee, its Squid, Mackerel, and Butterfish Committee, its Surfclam/Ocean Quahog Committee, and its Executive Committee will hold public meetings.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Revisions to Allowable Bycatch Reduction Devices
In accordance with the framework procedures for adjusting management measures of the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), NMFS issues this final rule to decertify the expanded mesh bycatch reduction device (BRD), the ``Gulf fisheye'' BRD, and the ``fisheye'' BRD, as currently specified, for use in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) shrimp fishery. NMFS is also certifying a new specification for the fisheye device to be used in the Gulf. In addition, this final rule incorporates a number of minor revisions to remove outdated regulatory text and revise references within regulatory text. The intended effect of this final rule is to improve bycatch reduction in the shrimp fishery and better meet the requirements of national standard 9.
Sea Turtle Conservation; Fishing Gear Inspection Program
NMFS establishes an inspection program for modified pound net leaders in the Virginia waters of the mainstem Chesapeake Bay. Current regulations require modified pound net leaders, as defined in the regulations, in a portion of the Virginia Chesapeake Bay while also allowing them to be used in a different portion of the Chesapeake Bay. This action would help ensure that leaders used in those areas do in fact meet the definition of a modified pound net leader. This action, taken under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended, is intended to facilitate compliance with the existing regulation, which is designed to help protect threatened and endangered sea turtles.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Swordfish Quotas
This proposed rule would adjust the North and South Atlantic swordfish quotas for the 2008 fishing year (January 1, 2008, through December 31, 2008) to account for underharvests, and to transfer 18.8 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) to Canada per the 2006 International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recommendations 06-02 and 06-03. The North Atlantic 2008 directed baseline quotas plus the 2007 underharvest would be divided equally between the semiannual periods of January through May and June through December. In addition, NMFS proposes to modify the vessel chartering regulations to potentially allow Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) limited access permit (LAP) holders to charter foreign vessels under a chartering arrangement where catches taken would count against U.S. Atlantic HMS quotas or entitlements.
Marine Mammals; File No. 87-1851
Notice is hereby given that Dr. Daniel P. Costa, Department of Biology and Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 87-1851-00.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 30B
NMFS issues this proposed rule to implement Amendment 30B to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This proposed rule would establish annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for commercial and recreational gag, red grouper, and shallow-water grouper (SWG); establish a commercial quota for gag; adjust the commercial quotas for red grouper and shallow-water grouper; establish an incidental bycatch allowance trip limit for commercial gag and red grouper; reduce the commercial minimum size limit for red grouper; reduce the gag bag limit and the aggregate grouper bag limit; increase the red grouper bag limit; extend the closed season for recreational shallow-water grouper; establish a new reef fish seasonal-area closure; eliminate the end date for the Madison-Swanson and Steamboat Lumps marine reserves; and require that federally permitted reef fish vessels comply with the more restrictive of Federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing in state waters. In addition, Amendment 30B would establish management targets and thresholds for gag consistent with the requirements of the Sustainable Fisheries Act; set the gag and red grouper total allowable catch (TAC); and establish interim allocations for the commercial and recreational gag and red grouper fisheries. This proposed rule is intended to end overfishing of gag and maintain catch levels of red grouper consistent with achieving optimum yield.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council) and its Administrative Committee will hold meetings.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will hold public meetings, December 10-16, 2008, in Anchorage, AK.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Inseason Action to Close the Commercial Porbeagle Shark Fishery
NMFS is closing the commercial fishery for porbeagle sharks in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. This action is necessary because the porbeagle shark quotas for the 2008 fishing season have reached or are projected to have reached at least 80 percent of the available quota.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Application Form for Membership on a National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council
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.
Notice of Intent
In accordance with section 315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, the State of Wisconsin and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration intend to conduct a public scoping meeting on December 1, 2008, in Superior, Wisconsin, as part of NOAA's Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Draft Management Plan (DEIS/DMP) process to solicit comments for the preparation of a DEIS/ DMP.
Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves
The NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) announces its intent to evaluate the performance of the Hudson River (New York) National Estuarine Research Reserve and the California Coastal Commission Coastal Management Program. The Coastal Zone Management Program evaluation will be conducted pursuant to section 312 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (CZMA) and regulations at 15 CFR part 923, Subpart L. The National Estuarine Research Reserve evaluation will be conducted pursuant to sections 312 and 315 of the CZMA and regulations at 15 CFR Part 921, Subpart E and Part 923, Subpart L. The CZMA requires continuing review of the performance of states with respect to coastal program implementation. Evaluation of Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves requires findings concerning the extent to which a state has met the national objectives, adhered to its Coastal Management Program document or Reserve final management plan approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and adhered to the terms of financial assistance awards funded under the CZMA. Each evaluation will include a site visit, consideration of public comments, and consultations with interested Federal, state, and local agencies and members of the public. A public meeting will be held as part of the site visit. Notice is hereby given of the dates of the site visits for the listed evaluations, and the dates, local times, and locations of the public meetings during the site visits.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications
NMFS issues this final rule to implement the annual harvest guideline (HG) for Pacific mackerel in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the Pacific coast for the fishing season of July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009. This HG has been calculated according to the regulations implementing the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and establishes allowable harvest levels for Pacific mackerel off the Pacific coast. The HG for the 2008-2009 fishing season is 40,000 metric tons (mt). If this total is reached, Pacific mackerel fishing will be closed to directed harvest and only incidental harvest will be allowed at a 45 percent by weight incidental catch rate when landed with other CPS, except that up to one mt of Pacific mackerel can be landed without landing any other CPS.
General Provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Minor Amendments to Regulations
NMFS issues minor amendments to update regulations pertaining to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The updated regulations reflect amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Act by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 (MSRA) so that regulations are consistent with the revised statutory text. The effect of this action is to update Magnuson-Stevens Act regulations where only minor changes to revise language or insert new provisions of the amended Magnuson-Stevens Act are needed. Additional actions interpreting and implementing the requirements of the MSRA are being addressed as separate rulemakings.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications and Management Measures
NMFS proposes 2009 specifications and management measures for Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish (MSB). This action proposes to maintain quotas for Atlantic mackerel (mackerel), Illex squid (Illex), and butterfish at the same levels as 2008, while increasing the quota for Loligo squid (Loligo). Additionally, this action proposes to increase the incidental possession limit for mackerel and requests public comment concerning the possibility of an inseason adjustment to increase the mackerel quota, if landings approach proposed harvest limits. These proposed specifications and management measures promote the utilization and conservation of the MSB resource.
Marine Mammals; File No. 532-1822-03
Notice is hereby given that Kenneth Balcomb, Center for Whale Studies, P.O. Box 1577, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 has been issued an amendment to scientific research Permit No. 532-1822-02.
General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Specifications for Boarding Ladders
NMFS publishes regulations to require operators of domestic fishing vessel with a freeboard of four feet or over to provide a U.S. Coast Guard-approved pilot ladder as a safe and enforceable means for authorized personnel to board fishing vessels in carrying out their duties under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, and other applicable fisheries laws and treaties. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of personnel boarding domestic fishing vessels, as current standards have proven to be inadequate. These final regulations establish a safer and more enforceable national standard for ladders used by authorized officers for boarding domestic fishing vessels subject to Federal regulation.
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 1,650 nm\2\ (5,659.5 km\2\), east of Gloucester, Massachusetts and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for 15 days. The purpose of this action is to provide protection to an aggregation of northern right whales (right whales).
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 1,575 nm\2\ (5,402.3 km\2\), east of Portland, Maine, for 15 days. The purpose of this action is to provide protection to an aggregation of northern right whales (right whales).
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Total Allowable Catch Harvested for Management Area 1A
NMFS announces that, effective 0001 hours, November 14, 2008, federally permitted vessels may not fish for, catch, possess, transfer, or land more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring in or from Management Area 1A (Area 1A) per trip or calendar day until January 1, 2009, when the 2009 TAC becomes available, except for transiting purposes as described in this notice. This action is based on the determination that 95 percent of the Atlantic herring total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to Area 1A for 2008 is projected to be harvested. Regulations governing the Atlantic herring fishery require publication of this notification to advise vessel and dealer permit holders that no TAC is available for the directed fishery for Atlantic herring harvested from Area 1A.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Exempted Fishing, Scientific Research, Display, and Chartering Permits; Letters of Acknowledgment
NMFS announces its intent to issue Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs), Scientific Research Permits (SRPs), Display Permits, Letters of Acknowledgment (LOAs), and Chartering Permits for the collection of Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) in 2009. In general, EFPs and related permits would authorize collections of a limited number of tunas, swordfish, billfishes, and sharks from Federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico for the purposes of scientific data collection and public display. Chartering permits allow the collection of HMS in the high seas or in the Exclusive Economic Zone of other nations. Generally, these permits will be valid from the date of issuance through December 31, 2009, unless otherwise specified, subject to the terms and conditions of individual permits.