International Fisheries; Tuna and Tuna-Like Species in the Eastern Pacific Ocean; Silky Shark Fishing Restrictions and Fish Aggregating Device Data Collection and Identification
NMFS is issuing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement certain provisions of two Resolutions adopted by the Inter- American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) in 2016: Resolution C-16-01 (Collection and Analyses of Data On Fish-Aggregating Devices) and Resolution C-16-06 (Conservation Measures for Shark Species, with Special Emphasis on the Silky Shark (Carcharhinus Falciformis) for the Years 2017, 2018, and 2019). Per Resolution C-16-01, these regulations require the owner or operator of a U.S. purse seine vessel to ensure characters of a unique code be marked indelibly on each fish aggregating device (FAD) deployed or modified on or after January 1, 2017, in the IATTC Convention Area. The vessel owner or operator must record and submit information about the FAD, as described in Annex I of Resolution C-16-01. Per Resolution C-16-06, these regulations prohibit the owner or operator of a U.S. purse seine vessel from retaining on board, transshipping, landing, or storing, in part or whole, carcasses of silky sharks caught by purse-seine vessels in the IATTC Convention Area. These regulations also provide limits on the retained catch of silky sharks caught in the IATTC Convention Area. This rule is necessary for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Re-Opening of Recreational Sector for the South Atlantic Other Jacks Complex
NMFS announces the re-opening of the recreational sector for the other jacks complex (lesser amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudderfish) in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic through this temporary rule. The most recent recreational landings of the other jacks complex indicate that the recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for 2016 fishing year has not yet been reached. Therefore, NMFS re-opens the recreational sector for the other jacks complex in the South Atlantic EEZ through the end of the 2016 fishing year or until the ACL is reached, whichever happens first, to allow the recreational ACL to be caught, while minimizing the risk of the recreational ACL being exceeded.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) will host a webinar meeting of the Area 2A Pacific halibut governmental management entities, which will be open to the public.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures
NMFS issues regulations to implement management measures described in Amendment 45 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) (Amendment 45). This final rule extends the 3-year sunset provision for the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) red snapper recreational sector separation measures for an additional 5 years. Additionally, this rule corrects an error in the Gulf red snapper recreational accountability measures (AMs). The purpose of this final rule is to extend the sector separation measures to allow the Council more time to consider and possibly develop alternative management strategies within the Gulf red snapper recreational sector.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2016 Commercial Accountability Measures and Closure for Atlantic Migratory Group Cobia
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for Atlantic migratory group cobia that are sold (commercial) and harvested from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Atlantic. NMFS projects that commercial landings of Atlantic migratory group cobia have reached the commercial quota. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for Atlantic migratory group cobia on December 6, 2016, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing year on January 1, 2017. This closure is necessary to protect the resource of Atlantic migratory group cobia.
Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) King and Tanner Crab Fisheries
NMFS issues this notice to inform interested parties that the Aleutian Island Golden (Brown) King crab (a/k/a WAG and EAG) sub-loan in the fishing capacity reduction program for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) King and Tanner Crab Fisheries has been repaid. Therefore, buyback fee collections on Aleutian Island Golden (Brown) King crab will cease for all landings after October 31, 2016.