Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by various sectors in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the 2021 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod in the GOA.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 29; 2021-22 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Correction
NMFS published a final rule on December 11, 2020 to establish the 2021-2022 harvest specifications and management measures for groundfish taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. That final rule modified the boundaries of the commercial non-trawl rockfish conservation area (RCA) for limited entry fixed-gear and open-access vessels. In implementing these changes, NMFS incorrectly identified the seaward boundary of the commercial non-trawl RCA south of 34[deg]27' N lat. for limited entry fixed-gear vessels. This correction is necessary so that the implementing regulations are accurate and implement the action as intended by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council).
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Harvest Specifications for the Central Subpopulation of Northern Anchovy
NMFS issues this final rule to revise the annual reference points, including the overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC) and annual catch limit (ACL), for the central subpopulation of northern anchovy in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the west coast under the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan. NMFS prepared this rulemaking in response to a September 2020 court decision (Oceana, Inc. v. Ross et al.) that vacated the OFL, ABC, and ACL for the central subpopulation of northern anchovy and ordered NMFS to promulgate a new rule in compliance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and Administrative Procedure Act. NMFS is implementing an OFL of 119,153 metric tons (mt), an ABC of 29,788 mt, and an ACL of 25,000 mt. If the ACL for this stock is reached or projected to be reached, then fishing will be closed until it reopens at the start of the next fishing season. This rule is intended to conserve and manage the central subpopulation of northern anchovy off the U.S. West Coast.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Increase in Sector Carryover of 2019 Annual Catch Entitlements and Carryover of Unused Leased-In Days-at-Sea by Common Pool Vessels
This temporary rule implements emergency measures under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to revise portions of the fishing year 2019 carryover provisions in the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan into fishing year 2020. This action is necessary to address an emergency presenting conservation and management plans to the fishery. This action is intended to mitigate economic harm to the Northeast multispecies fishery participants by providing the opportunity to use sector Annual Catch Entitlement and unused leased-in Days-at-Sea that would have otherwise may have gone unused.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Regulations; Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery
NMFS proposes to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan to reduce the incidental mortality and serious injury to North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in northeast commercial lobster and crab trap/ pot fisheries to meet the goals of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. In addition, this action also proposes a small revision to Federal regulations implemented under the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commissions' Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Lobster to increase the maximum length of a lobster trap trawl groundline. This action is necessary to reduce the risks to North Atlantic right whales and other large whales associated with the presence of fishing gear in waters used by these animals.