Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska Management Area
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from catcher vessels using trawl gear to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska management area (GOA). This action is necessary to allow the 2015 total allowable catch of Pacific cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA to be harvested.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS is transferring 24.3 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota from the General category December 2016 subquota period to the January 2016 subquota period (from January 1 through March 31, 2016, or until the available subquota for this period is reached, whichever comes first). NMFS also is adjusting the Atlantic tunas General category BFT daily retention limit for the January 2016 subquota period to three large medium or giant BFT from the default retention limit of one. This action is based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments and applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels when fishing commercially for BFT.
Control Date for the Blueline Tilefish Fishery in Waters North of the Virginia/North Carolina Border
This document announces a control date that may limit or restrict access to the blueline tilefish fishery in Federal waters north of the Virginia/North Carolina border. This action is necessary to inform fishery participants that we are considering future action. We intend for this document to promote awareness of possible future rulemaking, and discourage speculative entry into and/or investment in the Mid-Atlantic blueline tilefish fishery.
Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Trawl Rationalization Program; Midwater Trawl Requirements
This final rule clarifies the regulatory requirements for vessels using midwater trawl gear in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota Program. This action is needed to eliminate inconsistencies and reduce confusion in the current regulations. For vessels targeting Pacific whiting, the action clarifies that the retention of prohibited and protected species is allowed until landing. The disposition of prohibited and protected species is specified consistent with the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (groundfish FMP), the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan (salmon FMP), and other applicable law.