Mission-Aransas, Texas National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan Revision; Notice of Public Comment Period
Notice is hereby given that the Stewardship Division, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce is announcing a thirty day public comment period for the Mission-Aransas, Texas National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan revision. Pursuant to 15 CFR 921.33(c), the revised plan will bring the reserve into compliance. The Mission-Aransas Reserve revised plan will replace the plan approved in 2006. The revised management plan outlines the administrative structure; the research/monitoring, stewardship, education, and training programs of the reserve; and the plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support reserve operations. The Mission-Aransas Reserve takes an integrated approach to management, linking research, education, coastal training, and stewardship functions. The Reserve has outlined how it will manage administration and its core program providing detailed actions that will enable it to accomplish specific goals and objectives. Since the last management plan, the Reserve has built out its core programs and monitoring infrastructure; constructed several facilities including a L.E.E.D. certified Estuarine Research Center that serves as the reserve headquarters and includes laboratories, offices, classrooms, interpretative areas and dormitories; and built new partnerships with organizations along the Coastal Bend of Texas. With the approval of this management plan, the Mission-Aransas Reserve will increase their total acreage from 185,708 acres to 186,189. The change is attributable to the recent acquisitions of several parcels by Reserve partners, totaling 481 acres. All of the proposed additions are owned by existing Reserve partners and will be managed for long-term protection and conservation value. These parcels have high ecological value and will enhance the Reserve's ability to provide increased opportunities for research, education, and stewardship. The revised management plan will serve as the guiding document for the expanded 186,189 acre Mission-Aransas Reserve for the next five years. View the Mission-Aransas, Texas Reserve Management Plan revision at (https://sites.cns.utexas.edu/manerr/about/management-plan) and provide comments to (Jace.Tunnell@austin.utexas.edu).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; “Other Rockfish” in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting retention of ``other rockfish'' in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2015 total allowable catch of ``other rockfish'' in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA will be reached.
International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Effort and Catch Limits and Other Restrictions and Requirements
NMFS issues a final rule and final specifications under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act). The final rule establishes a framework under which NMFS will specify limits on fishing effort and catches, as well as spatial and temporal restrictions on particular fishing activities and other requirements, in U.S. fisheries for highly migratory fish species in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). NMFS will issue the specifications as may be necessary to implement conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Commission or WCPFC). The final rule also requires that certain U.S. fishing vessels operating in the WCPO obtain ``IMO numbers.'' The final rule also includes changes to regulations regarding tuna catch retention requirements for purse seine vessels, requirements to install and carry vessel monitoring system (VMS) units, daily reporting requirements, and other changes that are administrative in nature. Using the regulatory framework described above, NMFS also issues final specifications for 2015 that restrict the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) by purse seine vessels. These actions are necessary 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.