Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; American Fisheries Act; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program
NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 48 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP) and to revise regulations implementing the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Program and the Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. This final rule revises the Crab FMP and regulations that govern how NMFS determines the amount of limited access privileges held and used by groups in the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program (CDQ Program) for the purposes of monitoring the excessive share limits under the AFA Program and the CR Program. This final rule is necessary to align regulations and the Crab FMP to be consistent with an amendment to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and NMFS' current method of monitoring excessive share limits for CDQ groups in the AFA Program and the CR Program. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Crab FMP, and other applicable law.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; West Coast Region Groundfish Trawl Fishery Monitoring and Catch Accounting Program
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Marine Mammals; Pinniped Removal Authority
On October 6, 2017, NMFS received an application under section 120 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) from the state of Oregon (state) requesting authorization to intentionally take, by lethal methods, individually identifiable California sea lions (CSLs; Zalophus califorianus) in the Willamette River that are having a significant negative impact on the recovery of Upper Willamette River (UWR) steelhead and UWR Chinook salmon (Onchorhynchus spp.). Both of these salmonid fishery stocks are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. This authorization is requested as part of a larger effort to protect and recover listed salmonid stocks in the Willamette River basin. NMFS has determined that the application contains sufficient information to warrant establishing a Pinniped-Fishery Interaction Task Force (Task Force), which will be established after the closing of a public comment period. NMFS solicits public comments on the state's application, other relevant information related to pinniped predation on salmonids in the Willamette River, and nominations for potential members of a Task Force.