Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding the Reconsideration of the Allocation of Whiting
A court order issued February 21, 2012, remands for agency reconsideration the regulations addressing the initial allocation of whiting for the shorebased individual fishing quota (IFQ) fishery and the at-sea mothership fishery of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Trawl Rationalization Program (Program) and requires that NMFS implement revised regulations before the 2013 Pacific whiting fishing season begins on April 1, 2013. The purpose of this advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) is to announce that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will be reconsidering the initial allocation of whiting at its April, June, and September 2012 meetings, and that NMFS is considering two rulemakings in response to the court order. The affected public should be aware of potential reallocation of whiting, as well as potential reallocation of a portion of the initial allocation of Quota Share (QS) for some incidentally caught, nonwhiting species. Additionally, this ANPR announces that the affected public should review, and if necessary, correct their data, which may be used for reconsideration and any reallocation that may occur.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Pier 36/Brannan Street Wharf Project in the San Francisco Bay, CA
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to the Port of San Francisco (Port), allowing the take of small numbers of marine mammals, by Level B harassment only, incidental to pile driving during construction of the Brannan Street Wharf.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the B season allowance of the 2012 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 610 in the GOA.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 97
NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 97 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). If approved, Amendment 97 would allow the owners of trawl catcher/processor vessels authorized to participate in the Amendment 80 catch share program to replace these vessels with vessels that meet certain requirements. This proposed action includes management measures that would establish the requirements for replacement vessels, such as a limit on the overall length of replacement vessels, measures to prevent replaced vessels from participating in Federal groundfish fisheries off Alaska that are not Amendment 80 fisheries, and specific catch limits known as Amendment 80 sideboards for replacement vessels. This action is necessary to promote safety-at-sea, by allowing Amendment 80 vessel owners to replace their vessels for any reason at any time and by requiring replacement vessels to meet certain U.S. Coast Guard vessel safety standards, and is intended to facilitate an increase in the processing capabilities of the fleet to improve the retention and utilization of groundfish catch by these vessels. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.