National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration March 29, 2013 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Framework Adjustment 50
NMFS proposes approval of, and regulations to implement, measures in Framework Adjustment 50 (Framework 50) to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Framework 50 would set specifications for fishing years (FYs) 2013-2015, including 2013 total allowable catches (TACs) for the three U.S./Canada stocks, modify the rebuilding program for Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) winter flounder, and revise management measures for this stock consistent with the proposed rebuilding strategy. This action also proposes recreational management measures for FY 2013, as well as revisions to the sector carryover program. An emergency action to implement a 2013 catch limit for Georges Bank (GB) yellowtail flounder is also proposed in this action. The proposed regulations are intended to prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best available scientific information.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Stock Assessment Review Panels (STAR Panels) will hold work sessions to review stock assessments using data-moderate methods, as well as tier 1 benchmark stock assessments for petrale sole and darkblotched rockfish, rougheye rockfish and aurora rockfish, shortspine thornyhead and longspine thornyheads, and cowcod and Pacific sanddabs, all of which are open to the public.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) announces its intent to hold a workshop in conjunction with a joint meeting of the Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish and Ecosystems and Ocean Planning Advisory Panels. The purpose of the workshop is to facilitate development of spatial alternatives for deep sea coral protection areas for inclusion in Amendment 16 to the Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Council's Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish (MSB) Advisory Panel (AP) will meet to develop Fishery Performance Reports for the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish fisheries in preparation for the Council's setting of specifications for 2014.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Monitoring Requirements for American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessels Subject to Amendment 91; Public Workshops
NMFS announces a workshop to solicit input from owners and operators of American Fisheries Act (AFA) catcher vessels and shoreside processors participating in the pollock fishery in the Bering Sea off Alaska. The workshop concerns accurate accounting of Chinook salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery under Amendment 91 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. The workshop will discuss potential regulatory changes to address (1) the practice of leaving significant amounts of loose fish on the deck not contained inside the codend; (2) the installation of software and communication equipment to enhance observer data collection; and (3) the definition of directed fishing for pollock. The meeting is open to the public, but NMFS is particularly seeking participation by people who are knowledgeable about AFA catcher vessel operations in the Bering Sea pollock fishery and who can discuss with NMFS the potential operational impacts of the proposed monitoring requirements.
Endangered Species; File No. 16547-01
Notice is hereby given that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 11110 Kimages Road; Charles City, Virginia 23030 [Albert Spells: Responsible Party], has been issued a permit modification to take Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) for purposes of scientific research.
Notice of Availability of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean
NMFS announces the availability of the ``Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Supplemental DEIS) for the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean.'' Publication of this notice begins the official public comment period for this Supplemental DEIS. The purpose of the Supplemental DEIS is to evaluate, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of implementing the alternative approaches for authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to oil and gas exploration activities in the Arctic Ocean pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is a cooperating agency on this DEIS, and as such, this DEIS also evaluates the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of implementing the alternative approaches for authorizing geological and geophysical (G&G) surveys and ancillary activities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) in the Arctic Ocean. The North Slope Borough (NSB) is also a cooperating agency on this DEIS. The Environmental Protection Agency is serving as a consulting agency, and NMFS is coordinating with the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission pursuant to our co-management agreement under the MMPA.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; U.S. Marine Corps Training Exercises at Air Station Cherry Point
We have received an application from the U.S. Marine Corps (Marine Corps) requesting an incidental harassment authorization (Authorization) to take marine mammals incidental to various training exercises at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point Range Complex, North Carolina for a period of one year. The Marine Corps' activities are military readiness activities pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2004. Per the MMPA, we are requesting comments on our proposal to issue an authorization to the Marine Corps to incidentally harass by Level B harassment only, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), during the training exercises that would occur within the proposed effective period of May 20, 2013 through May 19, 2014. We are also requesting comments on our intent to promulgate regulations governing the take of marine mammals over a 5-year period incidental to the activities described in this notice.
Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Cape Wind's High Resolution Survey in Nantucket Sound, MA
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to Cape Wind Associates (CWA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to pre-construction high resolution survey activities in Nantucket Sound.