National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration March 25, 2022 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Purse Seine Observer Exemptions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean
NMFS issues regulations under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Tuna Conventions Act (TCA) of 1950, as amended, to allow NMFS to issue temporary exemptions from purse seine observer requirements in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) in accordance with procedures adopted by Parties to the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP) and members of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). This final rule is necessary for the continuity of fishing activities for large U.S. purse seine vessels and for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC.
Fisheries Finance Program; Announcement of Availability of Federal Financial Assistance for Western Alaskan Community Development Groups
NMFS announces the availability of long-term direct loans for Western Alaskan Community Development Quota (CDQ) groups through the Community Development Loan program as a component of the Fisheries Finance Program (FFP). The Community Development loans will provide financing for the purchase of all or part of ownership interests in fishing or processing vessels, shoreside fish processing facilities, permits, quota, and cooperative rights in any of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island fisheries. FFP loans are not issued for purposes that could contribute to over-fishing.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer From VA to NJ
NMFS announces that the Commonwealth of Virginia is transferring a portion of its 2022 commercial summer flounder quota to the State of New Jersey. This adjustment to the 2022 fishing year quota 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 2022 commercial quotas for Virginia and New Jersey.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; 2022 Research Fishery
On November 19, 2021, NMFS published a notice inviting qualified commercial shark permit holders to submit applications to participate in the 2022 Shark Research Fishery. The Shark Research Fishery allows for the collection of fishery-dependent data for future stock assessments and cooperative research with commercial fishermen to meet the shark research objectives of the Agency. Every year, the permit terms and permitted activities (e.g., number of hooks and retention limits) specifically authorized for selected participants in the Shark Research Fishery are designated depending on the scientific and research needs of the Agency, as well as the number of NMFS- approved observers available. In order to inform selected participants of this year's specific permit requirements and ensure all terms and conditions of the permit are met, NMFS is holding a meeting via conference call and webinar for selected participants. The date and time of that meeting is announced in this notice.