Notice is hereby given that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 21 South Putt Corners Rd., New Paltz, NY 12561 [Responsible Party: Kathryn Hattala], has been issued a permit to take shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) for purposes of scientific research.
Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; 2011 Bigeye Tuna Longline Fishery Closure
NMFS withdraws the temporary rule that would have closed the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean as a result of the fishery reaching the 2011 catch limit. NMFS no longer expects that the fishery will reach the limit by the date specified in the temporary rule.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Amendment 11
NMFS announces approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of collection-of-information requirements in regulations implementing Amendment 11 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish (MSB) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This final rule sets the effective date of the collection-of-information requirements.
Forum-Trends in Extreme Winds, Waves, and Extratropical Storms Along the Coasts
This notice sets forth the schedule and topics of an upcoming forum hosted by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina on January 11-13, 2012. Invited participants will discuss topics as outlined below. Members of the public are invited to attend the forum and are required to RSVP to Brooke.Stewart@noaa.gov by 5 p.m. EST, Wednesday, December 28, 2011 if they wish to attend. The forum is to be held in a federal facility; building security restrictions preclude attendance by members of the public who do not RSVP by the deadline. Space is also limited and public attendees will be admitted based on the order in which RSVPs are received. Members of the public will be invited to offer their comments during a 30-minute period to be held from 9:30 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 11, 2012. Each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of five minutes. Please indicate your intention to participate in the public comment period when submitting your RSVP. Time for public comments will be allotted based on the order in which RSVPs are received. Written comments may be submitted via email or in hardcopy and must be received by December 28, 2011. For information on how to submit written comments, please see addresses below. Special Accommodations: These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Brooke Stewart (828) 257- 3020, Brooke.Stewart@noaa.gov) by December 28, 2011.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod Allocations in the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 83
NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 83 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Amendment 83 allocates Western and Central GOA Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) limits among various gear and operational sectors. Sector allocations limit the amount of Western and Central GOA Pacific cod that each sector is authorized to harvest. This action reduces competition among sectors and supports stability in the Pacific cod fishery. This rule limits access to the Federal Pacific cod TAC fisheries prosecuted in State of Alaska waters, commonly known as the parallel fishery, adjacent to the Western and Central GOA. This action is intended to promote community participation and provide incentives for new entrants in the jig sector. It also promotes the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan, and other applicable laws.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment for the South Atlantic
NMFS proposes regulations to implement the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment (Comprehensive ACL Amendment) to the Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper-Grouper), the Golden Crab Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Golden Crab), the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery off the Atlantic States (Dolphin and Wahoo), and the Pelagic Sargassum Habitat of the South Atlantic Region (Sargassum) as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). If implemented, this rule would specify annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for species in the FMPs for Snapper- Grouper, Dolphin and Wahoo, and Golden Crab. The rule would also describe the current terminology and measures in place in the Sargassum FMP that are equivalent to an ACL and AMs. For Sargassum, the rule would not specifically set an ACL because there is currently a commercial quota in place which functions as an ACL, and there are commercial closure provisions in the event the quota is met or projected to be met which functions as an AM. In addition, the rule would revise the snapper-grouper fishery management unit (FMU), including the removal of some species, designation of ecosystem component (EC) species, and the development of species groups. This rule would establish a daily vessel limit for the recreational possession of wreckfish, create a closed season for the wreckfish recreational sector, prohibit recreational bag limit sales of dolphin from for-hire vessels, and set a minimum size limit for dolphin off most of the South Atlantic states. The intent of this rule is to specify ACLs for species not undergoing overfishing while maintaining catch levels consistent with achieving optimum yield (OY) for the resource.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Trawl Rationalization Program; Program Improvement and Enhancement; Amendment 21-1
This action implements revisions to the Pacific coast groundfish trawl rationalization program (program), a catch share program, and includes regulations that affect all commercial sectors (limited entry trawl, limited entry fixed gear, and open access) managed under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This action includes regulatory amendments to further implement Amendments 20 and 21 to the FMP and an FMP amendment to further revise Amendment 21 (called Amendment 21-1). This action includes, but is not limited to: Revisions to the Pacific halibut trawl bycatch mortality limit; clarification that Amendment 21 supersedes limited entry/open access allocations for certain groundfish species; revisions to the observer coverage requirement while a vessel is in port and before the offload is complete; revisions to the electronic fish ticket reporting requirements; revisions to the first receiver site license requirement; further clarification on moving between limited entry and open access fisheries; a process for end-of-the-year vessel account reconciliation; and an exemption from processing at sea for qualified participants in the Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program.
National Marine Protected Areas Center External Review
On May 26, 2000, President Clinton signed Executive Order (EO) 13158, directing federal agencies (led by NOAA and DOI) to establish a comprehensive national system of MPAs serving multiple conservation and management goals. To this end, the EO directs NOAA to establish a National Marine Protected Area Center (``MPA Center'') within NOAA (Sec. 4(e)) to carry out several provisions in cooperation with the Department of the Interior. Over the past decade, the MPA Center has conducted a variety of efforts to establish and support the growing national system through targeted science, information resources, coordination and policy development. An external review of the MPA Center is needed to maximize its effectiveness and transparency and to ensure that the MPA Center is conducting high quality work of significant value to NOAA and the nation. To this end, the MPA Center is seeking external feedback, including public comment on the program's approach to balancing competing priorities. All comments received in response to this request will be summarized and provided to an expert review panel scheduled to convene in late January, 2012.