National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 2014 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program Standard Ex-Vessel Prices
Document Number: 2014-29348
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS publishes standard ex-vessel prices for groundfish and halibut for the calculation of the observer fee under the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program (Observer Program). This notice is intended to provide information to vessel owners, processors, registered buyers, and other participants about the standard ex-vessel prices that will be used to calculate the observer fee liability for landings of groundfish and halibut made in 2015. NMFS will send invoices to processors and registered buyers subject to the fee by January 15, 2016. Fees are due to NMFS on or before February 15, 2016.
Issuance of Permit
Document Number: 2014-29347
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that Larry Wood, LDWood BioConsulting, Inc., 425 Kennedy Street, Jupiter, FL 33468 has been issued a permit to take hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) for purposes of scientific research.
Endangered Species; File No. 18688
Document Number: 2014-29346
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office, 1601 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814 [Responsible Party: Michael Tosatto], has applied in due form for a permit to take hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), leatherback (Dermochelys imbricata), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 12-Month Finding on Petitions To List the Northwest Atlantic Population of the Dusky Shark as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
Document Number: 2014-29318
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, announce a 12-month finding on two petitions to list the Northwest Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico population of dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus) as a threatened or endangered distinct population segment (DPS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We completed a comprehensive status review of the dusky shark in response to these petitions. Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, including the status review report (McCandless et al., 2014), we have determined that the Northwest Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico (henceforth abbreviated as NWA) population constitutes a DPS but does not warrant listing at this time. We conclude that the NWA DPS is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range and is not likely to become so within the foreseeable future.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding for the Eastern Taiwan Strait Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, Dusky Sea Snake, Banggai Cardinalfish, Harrisson's Dogfish, and Three Corals Under the Endangered Species Act
Document Number: 2014-29203
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, have completed comprehensive status reviews under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for seven foreign marine species in response to a petition to list those species. These seven species are the Eastern Taiwan Strait population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis), dusky sea snake (Aipysurus fuscus), Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni), Harrisson's dogfish (Centrophorus harrissoni), and the corals Cantharellus noumeae, Siderastrea glynni, and Tubastraea floreana. We have determined that the Eastern Taiwan Strait Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is not a distinct population segment and therefore does not warrant listing. We have determined that, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, and after taking into account efforts being made to protect the species, Pterapogon kauderni, and Centrophorus harrissoni meet the definition of a threatened species; and Aipysurus fuscus, Cantharellus noumeae, Siderastrea glynni, and Tubastraea floreana meet the definition of an endangered species. Therefore, we propose to list these six species under the ESA. We are not proposing to designate critical habitat for any of the species proposed for listing, because the geographical areas occupied by these species are entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction, and we have not identified any unoccupied areas that are currently essential to the conservation of any of these species. We are soliciting comments on our proposals to list the six species. We are also proposing related administrative changes to our lists of threatened and endangered species.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Allocating Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crab Fishery Resources
Document Number: 2014-29217
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) submitted Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/ Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP) to NMFS for review. If approved, Amendment 31 would amend the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program (CR Program) within the FMP to: Temporarily expand the eligibility requirements for individuals wishing to acquire C share Quota Share (QS) by transfer; establish minimum participation requirements for C share QS holders to be eligible to receive an annual allocation of Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ); establish minimum participation requirements for C share QS holders to be eligible to retain their C share QS and establish an administrative process for revocation of an individual's C share QS, if he or she fails to satisfy the minimum participation requirements; establish a regulatory mechanism to ensure that three percent of the total allowable catch (TAC) for each CR Program crab fishery is allocated as IFQ to holders of C share QS; and remove the prohibition on leasing C share IFQ. Amendment 31 is necessary to ensure that individuals who hold C shares are active in the CR Program fisheries and to ensure that application deadlines provide adequate time to resolve disputes. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Region Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology Omnibus Amendment
Document Number: 2014-29216
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils have submitted an Omnibus Amendment to the Fishery Management Plans of the Northeastern U.S. to establish a Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology, incorporating a draft Environmental Assessment and preliminary Regulatory Impact Review, for review and approval by the Secretary of Commerce, and is requesting comments from the public. The Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology Omnibus Amendment would establish a standardized bycatch reporting methodology for all 13 Fishery Management Plans in the region, as required under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The proposed measures include: Bycatch reporting and monitoring mechanisms; analytical techniques and allocation of at-sea fisheries observers; a standardized bycatch reporting methodology performance standard; a review and reporting process; framework adjustment and annual specifications provisions; a prioritization process; and provisions for industry-funded observers and observer set-aside programs.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Endangered Listing of Five Species of Sawfish Under the Endangered Species Act
Document Number: 2014-29201
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, issue this final rule implementing our determination that the narrow sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata), dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata), largetooth sawfish (collectively Pristis pristis; formerly Pristis pristis, Pristis microdon, and Pristis perotteti), green sawfish (Pristis zijsron), and the non-U.S. distinct population segment (DPS) of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) are endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. We also include a change in the scientific name for largetooth sawfish in this final rule to codify the taxonomic reclassification of P. perotteti to P. pristis. We are not designating critical habitat because the geographical areas occupied by the species are entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction and we have not identified any unoccupied areas within U.S. jurisdiction that are essential to the conservation of any of the five species. We have reviewed the status of the five species of sawfish, considered public and peer review comments, and conservation efforts being made to protect all five species, and we have made our determination based on the best available scientific and commercial data that all five species of sawfishthe narrow sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata), dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata), largetooth sawfish (collectively Pristis pristis; formerly Pristis pristis, Pristis microdon, and Pristis perotteti), green sawfish (Pristis zijsron), and the non-U.S. DPS of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata)are at risk of extinction throughout all of their ranges and should be listed as endangered species.
National Invasive Lionfish Prevention and Management Plan
Document Number: 2014-29199
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announces the availability of the National Invasive Lionfish Prevention and Management Plan (Plan). The Plan is available for public review and comment.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations and Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery
Document Number: 2014-29195
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this final rule to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan to modify the start date of the Massachusetts Restricted Area to begin on February 1, 2015, and to expand the Massachusetts Restricted Area by 912 square miles. In addition, this rule will revise the Federal lobster regulations to be consistent with the revised start date of the Massachusetts Restricted Area. Recent Federal lobster regulations closed the Outer Cape Lobster Management Area to lobster trap fishing from January 15 through March 15, which is consistent with the lobster trap haul-out period in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster. This rule would adjust the Outer Cape Lobster Management Area closure dates to February 1 through March 31.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
Document Number: 2014-29189
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Northeast Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an exempted fishing permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This Exempted Fishing Permit would exempt a commercial fishing vessel from mesh size requirements and butterfish possession limits to test experimental codend mesh configurations as a means to reduce juvenile butterfish bycatch in the directed butterfish fishery. Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, NY, will be conducting this research. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed exempted fishing permits.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2014-29168
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's Pacific Northwest Crab Industry Advisory Committee (PNCIAC) will meet in Seattle, WA. The meeting is open to the public.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2014-29167
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) will hold a meeting of Golden Crab Advisory Panel (AP) in Dania Beach, FL. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Closed Areas Expiring
Document Number: 2014-29122
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Based on request from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, NMFS is not going to renew the paralytic shellfish poisoning closed areas referred to as the Northern and Southern Temporary Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Closed Areas for another year. The areas have not been subject to a toxic algal bloom for several years, and recent testing of gastropods and whole/roe-on scallops has demonstrated toxin levels well below those known to cause human illness.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review Workshops
Document Number: 2014-29045
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS solicits nominations for the Advisory Panel (AP) for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) Workshops (this AP is also called the ``SEDAR Pool''). We also notify the public of updates to the Terms of Reference for the SEDAR Pool, including changes to the length of time selectees may serve. The SEDAR Pool is comprised of a group of individuals whom may be selected to consider data and advise NMFS regarding the scientific information, including but not limited to data and models, used in stock assessments for oceanic sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. Nominations are being sought for a 5-year appointment (2015-2020). Individuals with definable interests in the recreational and commercial fishing and related industries, environmental community, academia, and non-governmental organizations will be considered for membership on the SEDAR Pool.
Solicitation for Members of the NOAA Science Advisory Board
Document Number: 2014-28939
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA is soliciting nominations for members of the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is the only Federal Advisory Committee with the responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator on long- and short-range strategies for research, education, and application of science to resource management and environmental assessment and prediction. The SAB consists of 15 members reflecting the full breadth of NOAA's areas of responsibility and assists NOAA in maintaining a complete and accurate understanding of scientific issues critical to the agency's missions. Points of View: The Board will consist of approximately fifteen members, including a Chair, designated by the Under Secretary in accordance with FACA requirements. Members will be appointed for three- year terms, renewable once, and serve at the discretion of the Under Secretary. If a member resigns before the end of his or her first term, the vacancy appointment shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term, and shall be renewable twice if the unexpired term is less than one year. Members will be appointed as special government employees (SGEs) and will be subject to the ethical standards applicable to SGEs. Members are reimbursed for actual and reasonable travel and per diem expenses incurred in performing such duties but will not be reimbursed for their time. As a Federal Advisory Committee, the Board's membership is required to be balanced in terms of viewpoints represented and the functions to be performed as well as the interests of geographic regions of the country and the diverse sectors of U.S. society. The SAB meets in person three times each year, exclusive of teleconferences or subcommittee, task force, and working group meetings. Board members must be willing to serve as liaisons to SAB working groups and/or participate in periodic reviews of the NOAA Cooperative Institutes and overarching reviews of NOAA's research enterprise. Nominations: Interested persons may nominate themselves or third parties. Applications: An application is required to be considered for Board membership, regardless of whether a person is nominated by a third party or self-nominated. The application package must include: (1) The nominee's full name, title, institutional affiliation, and contact information; (2) the nominee's area(s) of expertise; (3) a short description of his/her qualifications relative to the kinds of advice being solicited by NOAA in this Notice; and (4) a current resume (maximum length four [4] pages).
Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Arctic Ringed Seal
Document Number: 2014-28808
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
On December 3, 2014, we, NMFS, published in the Federal Register a proposal to designate critical habitat for the Arctic subspecies (Phoca hispida hispida) of the ringed seal (Phoca hispida) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Due to a clerical error, that document contained numerous errors. To avoid confusion, we are withdrawing that proposed rule and reproposing the correct document through this action. Specifically, we propose to designate one specific area of marine habitat in the northern Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. We are soliciting comments from the public on all aspects of the proposal, including our identification and consideration of the economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the proposed designation.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Surveys Along the Oregon and California Coasts
Document Number: 2014-28807
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Study of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to rocky intertidal monitoring surveys.
Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; 2014 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for the South Atlantic Porgy Complex
Document Number: 2014-28745
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the commercial porgy complex in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. In the South Atlantic, the porgy complex includes jolthead porgy, knobbed porgy, whitebone porgy, scup, and saucereye porgy. Commercial landings for the porgy complex, as estimated by the Science and Research Director (SRD), are projected to reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) on December 6, 2014. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for the porgy complex in the South Atlantic EEZ on December 9, 2014, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing year, January 1, 2015. This closure is necessary to protect the porgy complex resource.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery Programs
Document Number: 2014-28724
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS publishes individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices and fee percentage for the IFQ cost recovery program in the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific. The fee percentage for 2014 is 2.6%. This action is intended to provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2014 standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2015.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Mariner Opinions of the Right Whale Mandatory Ship Reporting System
Document Number: 2014-28719
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Coral Reef Conservation Program Administration
Document Number: 2014-28718
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; National Marine Sanctuary Permits
Document Number: 2014-28717
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer
Document Number: 2014-28685
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the State of Maryland is transferring a portion of its 2014 commercial bluefish quota to the State of Rhode Island. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Air Force Conducting Maritime Weapon Systems Evaluation Program Operational Testing Within the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range
Document Number: 2014-28678
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS received an application from the U.S. Department of the Air Force, Headquarters 96th Air Base Wing (Air Force), Eglin Air Force Base (Eglin AFB), requesting an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to a Maritime Weapon Systems Evaluation Program (Maritime WSEP) within the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range in the Gulf of Mexico. Eglin AFB's activities are military readiness activities per the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2004. Per the MMPA, NMFS requests comments on its proposal to issue an Authorization to Eglin AFB to take, by harassment, two species of marine mammals during the specified activity for a period of one year.
Marine Mammals; File No. 18523
Document Number: 2014-28676
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Heather Liwanag, Ph.D., Adelphi University, Biology Department, 1 South Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530, to receive, import, and export marine mammal specimens for scientific research purposes.
Marine Mammals; File No. 15324
Document Number: 2014-28638
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that a major amendment to Permit No. 15324 has been issued to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), Division of Wildlife Conservation, Juneau, AK (Responsible Party: Robert Small, Ph.D.).
Marine Mammals; File No.18727; Correction
Document Number: 2014-28637
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
On October 30, 2014, a notice was published in the Federal Register announcing that the University of Alaska Museum of the North, 907 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6960 (Aren Gunderson, Responsible Party), had applied in due form for a permit to collect, import and export specimens of marine mammals for scientific research. That document inadvertently provided incorrect requested take numbers. This document corrects that oversight.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
Document Number: 2014-28633
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, apportionments, and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2015 and 2016 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Framework Action To Modify the Commercial Annual Catch Limit/Annual Catch Target Regulations for Three Individual Fishing Quota Species Complexes
Document Number: 2014-28630
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this final rule to implement a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) (Reef Fish FMP) as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). The action modifies the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) and annual catch target (ACT) regulations for three individual fishing quota (IFQ) program species complexes in the Gulf. This rule clarifies that the established commercial quotas are equal to the commercial ACTs and adds commercial ACLs to the regulations for three IFQ species complexes: Other shallow- water grouper (Other SWG), deep-water grouper (DWG), and tilefishes. The purpose of this rule is to optimize allowable harvest of IFQ species in the Gulf, while preventing overfishing, in accordance with National Standard 1 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Transshipment, Port Inspection, and Vessel Identification
Document Number: 2014-28628
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This final rule implements regulations governing transshipment and international port inspection for vessels with Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) permits to fulfill recent recommendations adopted by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). The final rule expands the current prohibition on transfer at sea to include any tuna, tuna-like species, or other Atlantic HMS both at sea and in port inside the Atlantic Ocean, and prohibits the transfer of Atlantic HMS by U.S. vessels outside of the Atlantic Ocean and its surrounding seas. However, Atlantic tuna purse seine category vessels are still allowed to transfer Atlantic bluefin tuna from the catcher vessel to the receiving vessel in certain limited circumstances. Additionally, this final rule revises current regulations for U.S.-permitted vessels landing tuna, tuna-like species, or other HMS in foreign ports or making port calls in foreign ports by updating information and reporting procedures. Finally, NMFS is notifying commercial HMS permit holders with vessels 20 meters or larger of an ICCAT requirement that they provide an International Maritime Organization (IMO)/Lloyd's Registry (LR) number on their permit application by no later than January 1, 2016. The purpose of this rule is to ensure U.S. compliance with ICCAT recommendations and to facilitate implementation of international monitoring, control, and surveillance measures for Atlantic HMS fisheries.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Proposed 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
Document Number: 2014-28627
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2015 and 2016 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. This action will conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 29
Document Number: 2014-28626
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 29 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP) (Amendment 29), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). If implemented, Amendment 29 and this rule would revise annual catch limits (ACLs) and recreational annual catch targets (ACTs) for four unassessed snapper- grouper species and three snapper-grouper species complexes based on an update to the acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rule and revised ABCs for 14 snapper-grouper stocks. Additionally, this proposed rule would revise management measures for gray triggerfish in Federal waters in the South Atlantic region, including modifying minimum size limits, establishing a split commercial season, and establishing a commercial trip limit. The purpose of this rule is to revise ACLs and recreational ACTs for select snapper-grouper species using the best scientific information available, and to address concerns about inconsistent minimum size limits among states, and early harvest closures in the commercial sector for gray triggerfish.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; Commercial Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Control Date
Document Number: 2014-28625
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This document announces the establishment of a control date of January 1, 2015, that the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) may use if it decides to create additional restrictions limiting participation in the individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for the grouper and tilefish component of the commercial sector of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone. Anyone entering the program after the control date will not be assured of future access should a management regime that limits participation in the program be prepared and implemented. NMFS invites comments on the establishment of this control date.
Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops
Document Number: 2014-28502
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in January, February, and March of 2015. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and to maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2015 and will be announced in a future notice.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2014 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for Atlantic Migratory Group Cobia
Document Number: 2014-28468
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for commercial Atlantic migratory group cobia in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. Commercial landings for Atlantic migratory group cobia, as estimated by the Science Research Director (SRD), are projected to reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) on December 11, 2014. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for Atlantic migratory group cobia on December 11, 2014, and it will remain closed throughout the remainder of the fishing year, through December 31, 2014. This closure is necessary to protect the resource of Atlantic migratory group cobia.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Framework Adjustment 3
Document Number: 2014-28131
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS implements final regulations to establish a process for setting river herring (alewife and blueback) and shad (American and hickory) catch caps for the herring fishery. This action also sets these catch caps for the 2014 and 2015 fishing years. The river herring and shad caps in the herring fishery will limit how much of these species will be caught in the herring fishery. This action will allow the New England Fishery Management Council to set river herring and shad catch caps and associated measures in future years through specifications or frameworks, whichever is appropriate. The measures in this action are a positive step in conservation efforts for river herring and shad.
Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Revisions to Charter Halibut Fisheries Management in Alaska
Document Number: 2014-28443
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes regulations that would revise Federal regulations regarding sport fishing guide services for Pacific halibut in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). The proposed regulations would remove the requirement that a guided sport (charter) vessel guide be on board the same vessel as a charter vessel angler to provide sport fishing guide services. This proposed rule would clarify that all sport fishing for halibut in which anglers receive assistance from a compensated guide would be managed under charter fishery regulations, and all harvest would accrue toward charter allocations. This proposed rule would align Federal regulations with State of Alaska regulations. Additional minor changes to the regulatory text pertaining to the charter halibut fishery would be required to maintain consistency in the regulations with these new definitions. This action is necessary to achieve the halibut fishery management goals of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Arctic Ringed Seal
Document Number: 2014-28229
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, propose to designate critical habitat for the Arctic subspecies (Phoca hispida hispida) of the ringed seal (Phoca hispida) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We propose to designate one specific area of marine habitat in the northern Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. We are soliciting comments from the public on all aspects of the proposal, including our identification and consideration of the economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the proposed designation.
Pacific Island Fisheries; Stock Assessment Review; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2014-28447
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS will convene a meeting to review a draft 2014 stock assessment update for main Hawaiian (MHI) Deep 7 bottomfish.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Surveys on the South Farallon Islands, California
Document Number: 2014-28391
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received an application from the National Ocean Service's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to rocky intertidal monitoring work and searching for black abalone, components of the Sanctuary Ecosystem Assessment Surveys. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to GFNMS to incidentally take, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during the specified activity.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the State of New Jersey
Document Number: 2014-28379
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the 2014 summer flounder commercial quota allocated to the State of New Jersey has been harvested. Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in New Jersey for the remainder of calendar year 2014, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer from another state. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise New Jersey that the quota has been harvested, and to advise Federal vessel and dealer permit holders that no Federal commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in New Jersey.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Trawl Rationalization Program; Chafing Gear Modifications
Document Number: 2014-28275
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action modifies the existing chafing gear regulations for midwater trawl gear. This action includes regulations that affect all trawl sectors (Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota Program (IFQ), Mothership Cooperative Program (MS), Catcher/Processor Cooperative Program (C/P), and tribal fishery) managed under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP). Many Pacific whiting vessels also fish in the Alaska groundfish fisheries. This action establishes chafing gear restrictions for the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery that are more compatible with those for the Gulf of Alaska groundfish and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands groundfish fisheries.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2015 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Seasons
Document Number: 2014-28136
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This final rule establishes opening dates and adjusts quotas for the 2015 fishing seasons for the Atlantic commercial shark fisheries. The quota adjustments are based on over- and/or underharvests experienced during 2014 and previous fishing seasons. In addition, NMFS establishes season opening dates based on adaptive management measures to provide, to the extent practicable, fishing opportunities for commercial shark fishermen in all regions and areas. These actions could affect fishing opportunities for commercial shark fishermen in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod Pot Gear Fishing Closure in the Pribilof Islands Habitat Conservation Zone in the Bering Sea; Amendment 103
Document Number: 2014-28113
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 103 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). This rule closes year-round the Pribilof Islands Habitat Conservation Zone (PIHCZ) to directed fishing for Pacific cod with pot gear to minimize bycatch and prevent overfishing of Pribilof Islands blue king crab (PIBKC). This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the BSAI FMP, and other applicable laws.
International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Restrictions on the Use of Fish Aggregating Devices in Purse Seine Fisheries for 2015
Document Number: 2014-28105
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues regulations under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act) to establish restrictions on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) by U.S. purse seine vessels in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). The restrictions include a prohibition on setting on FADs and other specific uses of FADs during January and February, and July through September of 2015, and a limit of 3,061 sets that may be made on FADs in 2015. This action is necessary for the United States to implement provisions of a conservation and management measure (CMM) adopted by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission) and to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention), to which it is a Contracting Party.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Gulf of Alaska Non-Pollock Trawl Fisheries; Amendment 97
Document Number: 2014-28096
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS adopts a final rule to implement Amendment 97 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). Amendment 97 limits Chinook salmon prohibited species catch (PSC) in Western and Central Gulf of Alaska (GOA) non-pollock trawl catcher/ processor (C/P) and catcher vessel (CV) fisheries. This action establishes separate annual Chinook salmon PSC limits for three sectors fishing for groundfish species other than pollock: trawl C/Ps, trawl CVs participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program, and trawl CVs not participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program. If a sector reaches its Chinook salmon PSC limit, NMFS will prohibit further fishing for non-pollock groundfish by vessels in that sector. This action also establishes and clarifies Chinook salmon retention and discard requirements for vessels and processors participating in both the GOA pollock and non-pollock groundfish trawl fisheries. This action is necessary to minimize the catch of Chinook salmon to the extent practicable in the GOA non-pollock trawl fisheries. Amendment 97 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska Trawl Economic Data Report
Document Number: 2014-28093
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues a final rule to implement the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Trawl Economic Data Report Program to evaluate the economic effects of current and potential future fishery management measures for the GOA trawl fisheries. This data collection program will provide the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS with baseline economic information on harvesters, crew, processors, and communities active in the GOA trawl fisheries, which will be used to assess the impacts of anticipated future GOA trawl groundfish management measures on stakeholders. The data collected for this program will be submitted by owners and leaseholders of GOA trawl vessels, owners and leaseholders of processors receiving deliveries from those trawl vessels, and owners and leaseholders of trawl catcher/processors. The types of data collected will include, but not be limited to, labor data, revenues, capital and operational expenses, and other operational or financial data. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, and other applicable laws.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 7
Document Number: 2014-28064
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This final rule implements Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) to ensure sustainable management of bluefin tuna consistent with the 2006 HMS FMP and address ongoing management challenges in the Atlantic bluefin tuna fisheries. This final rule also implements minor regulatory changes related to the management of Atlantic HMS. Amendment 7 management measures were developed by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA). This final rule: Allocates U.S. bluefin tuna quota among domestic fishing categories; implements measures applicable to the pelagic longline fishery, including Individual Bluefin Quotas (IBQs), two new Gear Restricted Areas, closure of the pelagic longline fishery when annual bluefin tuna quota is reached, elimination of target catch requirements associated with retention of incidental bluefin tuna in the pelagic longline fishery, mandatory retention of legal-sized bluefin tuna caught as bycatch, expanded monitoring requirements, including electronic monitoring via cameras and bluefin tuna catch reporting via Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), and transiting provisions for pelagic and bottom longline vessels; requires VMS use and reporting by the Purse Seine category; changes the start date of the Purse Seine category from July 15 to a date within a range of June 1 to August 15, to be established by an annual action; requires use of the Automated Catch Reporting System by the General and Harpoon categories; provides additional flexibility for inseason adjustment of the General category quota and Harpoon category retention limits; and changes the allocation of the Angling category Trophy South subquota for the Gulf of Mexico. Finally, this rule implements several measures not directly related to bluefin tuna management, including a U.S. North Atlantic albacore tuna quota; modified rules regarding permit category changes; and minor changes in the HMS regulations for administrative or clarification purposes.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks (LCS) and Hammerhead Sharks in the Atlantic Region
Document Number: 2014-28224
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is closing the fisheries for commercial aggregated LCS and hammerhead sharks in the Atlantic region. This action is necessary because the commercial landings of Atlantic aggregated LCS for the 2014 fishing season have reached 80 percent of the available commercial quota as of November 14, 2014, and the fisheries are quota-linked under current regulations.