National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration September 9, 2022 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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List of Fisheries for 2023
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its proposed List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2023, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The LOF for 2023 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. NMFS must classify each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level of mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The classification of a fishery on the LOF determines whether participants in that fishery are subject to certain provisions of the MMPA, such as registration, observer coverage, and take reduction plan (TRP) requirements.
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on Modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan To Reduce Mortality and Serious Injury of Large Whales in Commercial Trap/Pot and Gillnet Fisheries Along the U.S. East Coast
This notice announces an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to analyze the impacts to the environment of alternatives to amend the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (Plan). The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) intends to begin a rulemaking process to amend the Plan to further reduce the risk of mortalities and serious injuries of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) and other large whales caused by incidental entanglement in commercial trap/pot and gillnet fisheries along the U.S. East Coast. This notice is necessary to inform the public of NMFS's intent to prepare this EIS and to provide the public with an opportunity to provide input for NMFS's consideration.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2023 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Year
This proposed rule would adjust quotas and retention limits and establish the opening date for the 2023 fishing year for the Atlantic commercial shark fisheries. Quotas would be adjusted as required or allowable based on any underharvests from the 2022 fishing year. NMFS proposes the opening date and commercial retention limits to provide, to the extent practicable, fishing opportunities for commercial shark fishermen in all regions and areas. The proposed measures could affect fishing opportunities for commercial shark fishermen in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Empire Wind Project Offshore of New York
NMFS has received a petition from Empire Offshore Wind LLC (Empire), a 50-50 partnership between Equinor and BP, requesting authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to activities associated with the Empire Wind Project in a designated lease area on the Outer Continental Shelf (OSC-A 0512) offshore of New York state over the course of 5 years beginning in 2024. Equinor will be the operator through the development, construction, and operations phase of the project. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of Empire's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and issuance of a Letter of Authorization (LOA). NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on Empire's application and request.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; Amendment 50
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) submitted Amendment 50 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper- Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, Amendment 50 to the FMP would establish a new rebuilding plan, revise the acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual optimum yield (OY), annual catch limits (ACLs), sector allocations, recreational accountability measures (AMs), and additional management measures for red porgy. The additional management measures would address commercial seasonal quotas, commercial trip limits, recreational bag and possession limits, and a recreational fishing season for red porgy. The purpose of Amendment 50 is to end overfishing of red porgy, rebuild the stock, and achieve OY while minimizing, to the extent practicable, adverse social and economic effects.
Permanent Advisory Committee To Advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission; Meeting Announcement
NMFS announces a public meeting of the Permanent Advisory Committee (PAC) to advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC) on October 27-28, 2022. Meeting topics are provided under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications; 2022-2023 Annual Specifications and Management Measures for Pacific Sardine; Correction
This action contains a correction to the final rule for 2022- 2023 harvest specifications and management measures for the northern subpopulation of Pacific sardine (hereafter Pacific sardine), which published on July 1, 2022. Specifically, NMFS is correcting the tonnage amount that would trigger a trip limit for the live bait fishery: 2,500 metric tons (mt).
Management Track Assessment for Groundfish and Monkfish Stocks
NMFS and the Assessment Oversight Panel (AOP) will convene the Management Track Assessment Peer Review Meeting for the purpose of reviewing Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank winter flounder, Atlantic halibut, white hake, Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank haddock, northern and southern monkfish, southern New England/mid-Atlantic yellowtail flounder, pollock, and American plaice stocks. The Management Track Assessment Peer Review is a formal scientific peer-review process for evaluating and presenting stock assessment results to managers for fish stocks in the offshore U.S. waters of the northwest Atlantic. Assessments are prepared by the lead stock assessment analyst and reviewed by an independent panel of stock assessment experts called the AOP. The public is invited to attend the presentations and discussions between the review panel and the scientists who have participated in the stock assessment process.