Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Mid-Atlantic Access Area to General Category Individual Fishing Quota Scallop Vessels
NMFS announces that the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area will close to Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessels for the remainder of the 2016 fishing year as of the effective date below. After the effective date, no vessel issued a Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota permit may fish for, possess, or land scallops from the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area. Regulations require this action once it is projected that 100 percent of trips allocated to the Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessels for the Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area will be taken.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Removal of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin Distinct Population Segment of Canary Rockfish From the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species, and Removal of Designated Critical Habitat, and Update and Amend the Listing Descriptions for the Yelloweye Rockfish DPS and Bocaccio DPS
We, NMFS, are issuing a proposed rule to remove the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species and remove its critical habitat designation as recommended in the recent five-year review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We propose these actions based on newly obtained genetic information that demonstrates that the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin canary rockfish population does not meet the DPS criteria and therefore does not qualify for listing under the ESA. We also propose to update and amend the listing description for the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (S. ruberrimus) DPS based on a geographic description to include fish within specified boundaries. Further, although the current listing description is not based on boundaries, with this proposal we are also correcting a descriptive boundary for the DPS depicted on maps to include an area in the northern Johnstone Strait and Queen Charlotte Channel in waters of Canada consistent with newly obtained genetic information on yelloweye rockfish population grouping. We also propose to update and amend the listing description for the bocaccio DPS based on a geographic description and to include fish within specified boundaries.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Conduct Restoration Planning To Provide and Enhance Recreational Use in Alabama, and To Conduct Scoping
The Federal and state natural resource trustees for the Alabama Trustee Implementation Group for the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill (Alabama TIG) intend to prepare an EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to evaluate the environmental consequences of a range of restoration projects that the Alabama TIG will propose in an RP developed pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) to compensate the public for lost recreational use opportunities in Alabama caused by the DWH oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Restoration planning to compensate the public for lost recreational opportunities in Alabama is expected to be phased. This initial restoration planning activity will occur during the 2016 planning year. This restoration planning activity is occurring, in part, in accordance with the February 16, 2016, decision in Gulf Restoration Network v. Jewell, Case 1:15-cv-00191-CB-C (S.D. Ala.), in which the court enjoined the use of $58.5 million in DWH early restoration funds pending additional analysis under NEPA and OPA. This restoration planning activity fulfills the Federal and state natural resources trustees' responsibilities under this court order while looking more broadly at the potential to provide restoration for lost recreational use within Alabama. Accordingly, this initial recreational use restoration planning activity may develop restoration projects to compensate for the full remaining allocated amount of Alabama's recreational use injury caused by the DWH oil spill (approximately $83.5 million), or for some portion thereof. This restoration planning activity is proceeding in accordance with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (PDARP) and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). Information on the Restoration Type: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities, as well as the OPA criteria against which project ideas are being evaluated, can be found in the PDARP/PEIS (https://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/2016/04/trustees- settle-with-bp-for-natural-resource-injuries-to-the-gulf-of-m exico/) and in the Overview of the PDARP/PEIS (https:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/2016/04/trustees-settle-wit h-bp-for- natural-resource-injuries-to-the-gulf-of-mexico/). The Alabama TIG would like to hear your project ideas for addressing lost recreational use in Alabama and encourages you to submit restoration project ideas in response to this notice (see ADDRESSES for instructions). If you have submitted project ideas in the past, we will consider those projects along with additional ideas submitted at this time. The Trustees also seek public involvement in the scoping process and development of the recreational use RP/EIS. This notice explains the scoping process the Alabama TIG will use to gather input from the public. In addition to restoration project ideas, the Alabama TIG invites public comments regarding the scope, content, and any significant issues it should consider in the RP/EIS. Comments may be submitted at any time during the 30-day public scoping period via mail or the internet.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project, South Basin Improvements Project
In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that we have issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) to incidentally harass marine mammals during construction activities associated with the San Francisco Ferry Terminal, South Basin Improvements project in San Francisco, CA.