Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures
The National Marine Fisheries Service is considering the inclusion of Gulf of Mexico blacktip sharks in an amendment to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan that is currently under development. This amendment process began in October 2011 to address the results of recent stock assessments for scalloped hammerhead, dusky, sandbar, and blacknose sharks. A new stock assessment is ongoing for Gulf of Mexico blacktip sharks, and is expected to be complete and available before the amendment process is completed. Therefore, we are considering including Gulf of Mexico blacktip sharks in the amendment to ensure any changes in the shark fisheries as a result of recent stock assessments are considered at the same time for public clarity and for administrative efficiency.
Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery
NMFS issues this notice to inform interested parties that the Oregon Pink Shrimp sub-loan in the fishing capacity reduction program for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery has been repaid. Therefore, buyback fee collections on Oregon pink shrimp will cease.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Coastal Commercial Fireworks Displays at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, CA
NMFS, upon request of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), hereby issues regulations pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to authorizing professional fireworks displays within the MBNMS in California waters, for the period of July 4, 2012, through July 3, 2017. These regulations, which allow for the issuance of Letters of Authorization for the incidental take of marine mammals during the described activities and specified timeframes, prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, as well as requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.
Marine Mammals; File No. 16388
Notice is hereby given that Mark Baumgartner, Ph.D., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MS33 Biology Department, Woods Hole, MA 02543, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), blue whales (B. musculus), sei whales (B. borealis), bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis), North Pacific right whales (E. japonica), and Eastern North Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus).
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Exempted Fishing Permit
NMFS announces the receipt of an application for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) from Florida Sea Grant. If granted, the EFP would exempt Florida Sea Grant agents from regulations at Sec. 622.41(m)(3), requiring the use of venting tools when releasing regulatory discarded fish back to the water from July 1, 2012, through July 1, 2013. This study, to be conducted in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) off Florida, is intended to better document the efficacy and practicality of various recompression gear methods.
Endangered Species; File No. 16556
Notice is hereby given that NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC; Responsible Party: Frank Almeida), 166 Water St., Woods Hole, MA, 02543 has applied in due form for a permit to take loggerhead (Caretta caretta), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS closes the incidental Longline category southern area fishery for large medium and giant Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) for the remainder of 2012. Fishing for, retaining, possessing, or landing BFT in the Longline category southern area is prohibited for the remainder of 2012. This action is being taken to prevent any further overharvest of the Longline category southern area BFT subquota.