Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces that the Commonwealth of Virginia is transferring a portion of its 2017 commercial bluefish quota to the State of Rhode Island. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial bluefish quotas for Virginia and Rhode Island.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces that the Commonwealth of Virginia is transferring a portion of its 2017 commercial summer flounder quota to the State of Rhode Island. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for Virginia and Rhode Island.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; Re-Opening of the Recreational Sector for Red Snapper
NMFS announces the re-opening of the recreational sector for red snapper in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic through this temporary rule. The most recent preliminary recreational harvest information for red snapper indicate the recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for the limited 2017 fishing season has not yet been reached. Therefore, NMFS re-opens the recreational sector for red snapper in the South Atlantic EEZ for 3 days (see DATES) to allow the recreational ACL to be caught, while minimizing the risk of the recreational ACL being exceeded.
International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Restrictions on Fishing for Sharks in the Eastern Pacific Ocean
NMFS is issuing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement Resolution C-16-05 (Resolution on the Management of Shark Species) of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) adopted in July 2016. Per the Resolution, these regulations require purse seine vessel owners, operators, and crew to follow specified release requirements for sharks in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO). These regulations also prohibit longline vessels targeting tuna or swordfish in the EPO from using ``shark lines'' (a type of fishing gear used on longline vessels to target sharks). This rule is necessary for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Biennial Specifications
NMFS proposes to implement annual harvest specifications and management measures to establish the allowable catch levels for Pacific mackerel in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington) for the fishing years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. This rule is proposed pursuant to the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The proposed harvest guideline (HG) and annual catch target (ACT) for the 2017-2018 fishing year are 26,293 metric tons (mt) and 25,293 mt respectively. The proposed HG and ACT for the 2018-2019 fishing year are 23,840 mt and 22,840 mt respectively. If the fishery attains the ACT in either fishing year, the directed fishery will close, reserving the difference between the HG and ACT as a 1,000 mt set-aside for incidental landings in other CPS fisheries and other sources of mortality. If the HG is reached, all retention would be prohibited through the end of the fishing year. This rule is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific mackerel stock off the U.S. West Coast.