Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures; Amendment 28
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 28 would revise the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) red snapper commercial and recreational sector allocations of the stock annual catch limit (ACL). If Amendment 28 is approved and implemented, it would result in changes to the red snapper commercial and recreational quotas and the recreational annual catch target (ACT). Additionally, the Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component ACLs and ACTs, which are based on the recreational sector's ACL and ACT, would also be revised. The intent of Amendment 28 is to reallocate the Gulf red snapper harvest consistent with the 2014 red snapper update assessment while ensuring the allowable catch and recovery benefits from the rebuilding red snapper stock are fairly and equitably allocated between the commercial and recreational sectors to achieve optimum yield (OY).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of Pacific cod from catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using pot gear and catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear to catcher/ processors (C/Ps) using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2015 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Herring Advisory Panel to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
2016 Annual Determination To Implement the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is providing notification that the agency will not identify additional fisheries to observe on the Annual Determination (AD) for 2016, pursuant to its authority under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Through the AD, NMFS identifies U.S. fisheries operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Ocean that will be required to take observers upon NMFS' request. The purpose of observing identified fisheries is to learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate measures to prevent or reduce sea turtle takes, and implement the prohibition against sea turtle takes. Fisheries identified on the 2015 AD (see Table 1) remain on the AD for a 5-year period and are required to carry observers upon NMFS' request until December 31, 2019.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird Research Activities in Central California, 2015-2016
We, NMFS, give notice that we have revised an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) issued to Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting seabird research activities on Southeast Farallon Island, A[ntilde]o Nuevo Island, and Point Reyes National Seashore in central California. Point Blue's current Authorization is effective until January 30, 2016, and authorizes the incidental harassment, by Level B harassment only, of approximately 9,871 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). Current environmental conditions in the Pacific Ocean offshore California which researchers have attributed to an impending El Nino eventhave contributed to unprecedented numbers of California sea lions hauled out in areas where Point Blue conducts seabird surveys. As such, Point Blue requested a modification to their current Authorization to increase the number of authorized take for California sea lions to continue their research. Per the Marine Mammal Protection Act, we are revising the Authorization to Point Blue for the incidental harassment, by Level B harassment only, a total of 41,889 California sea lions.