North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Scallop Plan Team will meet on February 20, 2019 in Kodiak, AK.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting
The Tilefish Advisory Panel of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program
NMFS publishes the standard ex-vessel prices and fee percentage for cost recovery under the Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program. This action is intended to provide participants in a rockfish cooperative with the standard prices and fee percentage for the 2018 fishing year, which was authorized from May 1 through November 15. The fee percentage is 2.86 percent. The fee payments are due from each rockfish cooperative on or before February 15, 2019.
Revisions to Framework Adjustment 57 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and Sector Annual Catch Entitlements; Updated Annual Catch Limits for Sectors and the Common Pool for Fishing Year 2018
Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), this final rule adjusts the 2018 fishing year allocations to sectors and the common pool specified in Framework Adjustment 57 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan; makes other minor adjustments based on final 2017 catch information; and distributes sector allocation carried over from fishing year 2017 into fishing year 2018 as required by the sector regulations. The revisions are necessary to account for changes to 2018 sub-annual catch limits based on final 2018 sector rosters. These adjustments are routine and formulaic and are intended to ensure that final allocations are based on the best scientific information available.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans
We, NMFS, announce the extension of the comment period for the Proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) Recovery Plan for Puget Sound Steelhead (Proposed Plan) published on December 13, 2018. The Proposed Plan addresses the Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Distinct Population Segment (DPS), which was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on May 11, 2007 (72 FR 26722). The geographic area covered by the Proposed Plan is the Puget Sound basin, from the Elwha River (inclusive) eastward, including rivers in Hood Canal, South Sound, and North Sound. As required under the ESA, the Proposed Plan contains objective, measurable delisting criteria, site- specific management actions necessary to achieve the Proposed Plan's goals, and estimates of the time and costs required to implement recovery actions. We are soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the Proposed Plan. The close of the comment period is being extended from February 11, 2019, to March 28, 2019to provide additional opportunity for public comment.
Marine Mammals; File No. 22141
Notice is hereby given that Samuel Wasser, Ph.D., University of Washington, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 351800, Seattle, WA, 98195, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on marine mammals.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Approved Monitoring Service Providers
NMFS has approved four companies to provide Northeast multispecies sector at-sea monitoring services in fishing years 2019 and 2020. Regulations implementing the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan require at-sea monitoring companies to apply to, and be approved by, NMFS in order to be eligible to provide at-sea monitoring services to sectors. This action will allow sectors to contract at-sea monitoring services with any of the approved providers for fishing years 2019 and 2020.
Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery
On December 3, 2018, NMFS issued a notice to announce the voting period for the proposed second fishing capacity reduction program loan in the Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery and inform persons of their eligibility to vote. This notice informs the public of the revised referendum voting period due to the lapse in appropriations. The referendum, if approved, will result in a loan of $10.1 million and permanently retire an additional 36 permits from the fishery.
Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Proposed New Space Lease for the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, NJ
This notice announces its intention to prepare an EA in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, for a new space lease to be occupied by the NOAA/OAR Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Navy Training and Testing Activities in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Study Area
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) to amend NMFS' Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to Navy training and testing activities conducted in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Study Area from November 2018 to November 2023 to cover seven years of the Navy's activities, instead of five. Section 316 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (2019 NDAA), signed into law on August 13, 2018, amended the MMPA to extend the maximum period for MMPA incidental take regulations under section 101(a)(5)(A) from five to seven years for military readiness activities. The Navy's activities qualify as military readiness activities pursuant to the MMPA, as amended by the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2004. The Navy proposes no changes to their specified activities, mitigation measures, monitoring, or reporting and requests that NMFS amend the final rule issued on November 14, 2018, to authorize incidental take of marine mammals for the two additional years now allowed under the statute. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on the Navy's application.