Endangered Species; File Nos. 13307, 13544, and 14586
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued a permit and two permit modifications to take sea turtles and marine mammals for purposes of scientific research.
Marine Mammals; File No. 15750
Notice is hereby given that ABR, Inc. Environmental Research and Services, Fairbanks, AK, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on marine mammals.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings
The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) will hold public hearings to solicit comments on proposals to be included in the Draft Amendment 6 to the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The purpose of Amendment 6 is to consider one or more catch share management approaches for the monkfish fishery, including, but not limited to, Individual Fishery Quotas (IFQs), sectors and/or community quotas. The NEFMC is initiating a public process to determine the scope of issues and range of alternatives to be addressed in Amendment 6 and its environmental impact statement (EIS).
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Emergency Rule To Delay Effectiveness of the Snapper-Grouper Area Closure
NMFS issues this temporary rule to delay the effective date of the area closure for snapper-grouper specified in Amendment 17A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The area closure will become effective on January 3, 2011, through the final rule that implements Amendment 17A. A Southeast Data Assessment and Review (SEDAR) benchmark stock assessment for red snapper (SEDAR 24) was just completed on October 25, 2010, and was reviewed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council's) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) during its meeting from November 9-11, 2010. The new stock assessment still shows red snapper to be overfished and undergoing overfishing, however, the rate of overfishing found in SEDAR 24 is less than the rate of overfishing found in the previous stock assessment (SEDAR 15). The SSC concluded that, based on SEDAR 24, the snapper-grouper area closure approved in Amendment 17A is more conservative that what is needed to end overfishing of red snapper. Temporarily delaying the effective date of the snapper-grouper area closure specified in Amendment 17A will allow the Council time to respond to the new stock assessment information through a regulatory amendment, which will be discussed at the Council's December meeting. This emergency action is necessary to mitigate negative socioeconomic impacts associated with the snapper- grouper area closure on South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishermen and to ensure the area closure is based upon the best scientific information available.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 17A
NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 17A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule establishes an annual catch limit (ACL) of zero for red snapper, which means all harvest and possession of red snapper in or from the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is prohibited, and for a vessel with a Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper, harvest and possession of red snapper is prohibited in or from State or Federal waters. This rule also implements an area closure for South Atlantic snapper-grouper that extends from southern Georgia to northern Florida where harvest and possession of all snapper-grouper species is prohibited (except when fishing with black sea bass pots or spearfishing gear for species other than red snapper), and requires the use of non-stainless steel circle hooks when fishing for snapper-grouper species with hook and line gear north of 28[deg] N. latitude in the South Atlantic EEZ. Additionally, Amendment 17A establishes a rebuilding plan for red snapper and requires a monitoring program as the accountability measure (AM) for red snapper. The intended effects of this rule are to end overfishing of South Atlantic red snapper and rebuild the stock.