Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; 2018 Research Fishery
NMFS announces its request for applications for the 2018 shark research fishery from commercial shark fishermen with directed or incidental shark limited access permits. The shark research fishery allows for the collection of fishery-dependent and biological data for future stock assessments and to meet the research objectives of the Agency. The only commercial vessels authorized to land sandbar sharks are those participating in the shark research fishery. Shark research fishery permittees may also land other large coastal sharks (LCS), small coastal sharks (SCS), and pelagic sharks. Commercial shark fishermen who are interested in participating in the shark research fishery need to submit a completed Shark Research Fishery Permit Application in order to be considered.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is exchanging unused flathead sole and rock sole Community Development Quota (CDQ) for yellowfin sole CDQ acceptable biological catch (ABC) reserves in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2017 total allowable catch of yellowfin sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area to be harvested by the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Community Development Association (APICDA).
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Proposed Rulemaking To Designate Critical Habitat for the Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whale Distinct Population Segment
We, NMFS, propose to designate critical habitat for the Main Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) distinct population segment by designating waters from the 45-meter (m) depth contour to the 3200-m depth contour around the main Hawaiian Islands from Niihau east to Hawaii, pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Based on considerations of economic and national security impacts, we propose to exclude the following areas from designation because the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion and exclusion will not result in extinction of the species: The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's Call Area offshore of the Island of Oahu, the Pacific Missile Range Facilities Offshore ranges (including the Shallow Water Training Range, the Barking Sands Tactical Underwater Range, and the Barking Sands Underwater Range Extension), the Kingfisher Range, Warning Area 188, Kaula and Warning Area 187, Fleet Operational Readiness Accuracy Check Site Range, the Shipboard Electronic Systems Evaluation Facility, Warning Areas 196 and 191, and Warning Areas 193 and 194. In addition, the Ewa Training Minefield and the Naval Defensive Sea Area are precluded from designation under section 4(a)(3) of the ESA because they are managed under the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan that we find provides a benefit to the Main Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whale. We are soliciting comments on all aspects of the proposal, including information on the economic, national security, and other relevant impacts. We will consider additional information received prior to making a final designation.
Temporary Rule To Establish Management Measures for the Limited Harvest and Possession of South Atlantic Red Snapper in 2017
NMFS issues this final temporary rule to establish management measures to allow for the limited harvest and possession of red snapper in or from the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in 2017 by changing the process used to set the annual catch limit (ACL), as requested by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This rule also announces the opening and closing dates of the 2017 recreational fishing season and the opening date for the 2017 commercial fishing season for red snapper. The intended effect of this temporary rule is to reduce, to the extent practicable, existing adverse socio-economic impacts to fishermen and fishing communities that utilize the red snapper portion of the snapper-grouper fishery, without allowing overfishing or preventing the stock from rebuilding. Additionally, limited commercial and recreational harvest of red snapper in 2017 will provide an opportunity to collect fishery- dependent data that will be useful for future red snapper stock assessments and management decisions.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. 101/Chehalis River Bridge-Scour Repair in Washington State
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 Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to U.S. 101/ Chehalis River BridgeScour Repair in Washington State.