Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Assessment on the Effects of Issuing an Incidental Take Permit No. 21293
NMFS announces the availability of the ``Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the Effects of Issuing an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) (No. 21293) to Mr. Jack Rudloe, Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratories, Inc. (GSML), pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). Publication of this notice begins the official public comment period for this draft EA. Per the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the purpose of the draft EA is to evaluate the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts caused by the issuance of Permit No. 21293 to GSML for the incidental take of Gulf sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) or loggerhead (Caretta caretta Northwest Atlantic Ocean Distinct Population Segment), green (Chelonia mydas North Atlantic Distinct Population Segment), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) associated with the otherwise lawful trawling activities in Florida state waters of Bay, Gulf, Franklin, and Wakulla Counties to harvest marine organisms for the purpose of supplying entities conducting scientific research and educational activities. All comments received will become part of the public record and will be available for review. An electronic copy of the revised application and proposed conservation plan may be obtained by contacting NMFS Office of Protected Resources (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) or visiting the internet at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/esa_review.htm.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Amendment 16 to the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan
NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 16 to the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for review by the Secretary of Commerce. Amendment 16 would add a description to the CPS FMP of a very small sector of the CPS fishery that is not part of the primary commercial directed fishery and harvests minor amounts of CPS finfish. Total landings from this sector typically make up less than one percent of the total landings of any particular CPS stock. Currently, when directed fishing closures are enacted, these very small-scale fisheries have been precluded from fishing and/or harvesting these minor amounts because they do not fall under the existing exemptions during closures for incidental harvest or for harvesting CPS to be sold as live bait. The intent of Amendment 16 is to allow this sector to continue targeting CPS finfish after a directed fishery closure, while keeping the aggregate catch level within the applicable annual catch limit (ACL).
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings; Cancellation
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has cancelled its 172nd meeting that was scheduled between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. (Hawaii Standard Time (HST)) and between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. (American Samoa Standard Time (ASST)) on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 and between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (Marianas Standard Time (MST)) on Thursday, November 16, 2017.
Marine Mammals; File No. 20626
Notice is hereby given that James H.W. Hain, Ph.D., Box 721, Woods Hole, MA 02543, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on North Atlantic right (Eubalaena glacialis) and humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) whales.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Essential Fish Habitat
This action proposes regulations to implement the New England Fishery Management Council's Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2. This rule would revise essential fish habitat and habitat area of particular concern designations, revise or create habitat management areas to protect vulnerable habitat from fishing gear impacts, establish dedicated habitat research areas, and implement several administrative measures related to reviewing these measures. This action is necessary to comply with the requirements of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to periodically review essential fish habitat designations and the protection of such habitats. The proposed measures are intended to minimize to the extent practicable the adverse effects of fishing on essential fish habitat.