National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2019 Commercial and Recreational Accountability Measure and Closures for Gulf of Mexico Lane Snapper
Document Number: 2019-26933
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-12-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for the lane snapper commercial and recreational sectors in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) for the 2019 fishing year through this temporary rule. NMFS has projected that the 2019 stock annual catch limit (ACL) for Gulf lane snapper has been met. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial and recreational sectors for Gulf lane snapper on December 13, 2019, and they will remain closed through the end of the current fishing year on December 31, 2019. These closures are necessary to protect the Gulf lane snapper resource.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2019-26925
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Limited Reopening of the 2019 U.S. Pelagic Longline Fishery for Bigeye Tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean
Document Number: 2019-26902
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-12-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is temporarily reopening the 2019 U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) for five days because the fishery did not catch the entire 3,554 metric ton (t) limit. This action is intended to allow the fishery to access the remainder of the available limit.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Astoria Waterfront Bridge Replacement Phase 2 Project
Document Number: 2019-26859
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the City of Astoria to incidentally harass, by Level A and Level B harassment, marine mammals during construction activities associated with Phase Two of the Astoria Waterfront Bridge Replacement project in Astoria, OR.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, Level A Stranding Report, Rehabilitation Disposition Data Sheet, and Human Interaction Form
Document Number: 2019-26829
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Antarctic Marine Living Resources Conservation and Management Measures
Document Number: 2019-26827
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Coral Reef Conservation Program
Document Number: 2019-26825
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management has prepared a draft programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) for its Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), which is managed by NOAA's National Ocean Service in Silver Spring, MD, and implemented in coastal areas and marine waters of Florida, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the U.S. Pacific Remote Islands, and targeted international regions including the wider Caribbean, the Coral Triangle, the South Pacific, and Micronesia. Publication of this document begins the public comment period for the draft PEIS.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-26796
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The SEDAR 64 assessment process of Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic yellowtail snapper will consist of a Data Workshop, and a series of assessment webinars, and a Review Workshop. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-26795
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The SEDAR 68 assessment of Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic scamp will consist of a Data workshop, a series of assessment webinars, and a Review workshop. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Education, Educational Partnership Program (EPP) and Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program
Document Number: 2019-26777
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group Final Restoration Plan 2 and Environmental Assessment: Fish, Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals, and Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities and Finding of No Significant Impact
Document Number: 2019-26745
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and a Consent Decree with BP Exploration & Production Inc. (BP),\1\ the Deepwater Horizon Federal natural resource trustee agencies for the Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group (Open Ocean TIG) have prepared a Draft Restoration Plan 2 and Environmental Assessment (Draft RP/EA). The Draft RP/EA describes and proposes restoration project alternatives considered by the Open Ocean TIG to restore natural resources and ecological services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Open Ocean TIG evaluated these alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment regulations, and also evaluated the environmental consequences of the restoration alternatives in accordance with NEPA. The proposed projects are consistent with the restoration alternatives selected in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS). The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability of the Final RP II/EA and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
Document Number: 2019-26693
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an exempted fishing permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This permit would allow Coonamessett Farm Foundation to test the selectivity of alternate gillnet configurations to target haddock while reducing catch of other groundfish species. Regulations under the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed exempted fishing permits.
Endangered Species; File Nos. 22671-01, 23096, and 23200
Document Number: 2019-26666
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that three applicants have applied in due form for a permit to take Atlantic (Acipenser oxyrinchus) and shortnose (Acipenser brevirostrum) sturgeon for purposes of scientific research.
Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; 2019 Recreational Accountability Measure and Closure for the South Atlantic Deep-Water Complex
Document Number: 2019-26640
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for the recreational sector for the snapper-grouper deep-water complex (yellowedge grouper, silk snapper, misty grouper, queen snapper, sand tilefish, and blackfin snapper) in the South Atlantic for the 2019 fishing year through this temporary rule. NMFS has determined that recreational landings of the deep-water complex have exceeded the recreational annual catch limit (ACL). Therefore, NMFS closes the recreational sector for this complex on December 11, 2019, through the remainder of the 2019 fishing year in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. This closure is necessary to protect the species in the deep-water complex.
Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Longline Catcher Processor Subsector of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Non Pollock Groundfish Fishery
Document Number: 2019-26633
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this notice to inform the public that there will be an increase of the fee rate required to repay the $35,000,000 reduction loan financing the non-pollock groundfish fishing capacity reduction program. Effective January 1, 2020, NMFS is increasing the Loan A fee rate to $0.021 per pound to ensure timely loan repayment. The fee rate for Loan B will remain unchanged at $0.001 per pound.
Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery
Document Number: 2019-26630
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this notice to decrease the fee rate to 3.5 percent for the Pacific Coast Groundfish fee-share fishery to repay the $28,428,718.88 Groundfish sub-loan of the $35,662,471 reduction loan that financed the Pacific Coast Groundfish fishing capacity reduction program.
Marine Mammals and Endangered Species
Document Number: 2019-26619
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that permits or permit amendments have been issued to the following entities under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as applicable.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Trawl Rationalization Program; 2020 Cost Recovery
Document Number: 2019-26618
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action provides participants in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Trawl Rationalization Program with the 2020 fee percentages and MS pricing needed to calculate the required payments for the cost recovery fees due in 2020. For calendar year 2020, NMFS announces the following fee percentages by sector specific program: 3.00 percent for the Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program; 0.29 percent for the MS Co-op Program; and 0.08 percent for the Catcher/Processor Co-op (CP) Program. For 2020, the MS pricing to be used as a proxy by the CP Co-op Program is: $0.08/lb for Pacific whiting.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Seabird Bycatch Avoidance Measures
Document Number: 2019-26523
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-12-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This rule requires commercial groundfish bottom longline vessels 26 feet (7.9 meters (m)) length overall and longer managed under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan to use streamer lines while setting gear or to set gear between civil dusk and civil dawn (night set) when fishing in Federal waters north of 36[deg] North latitude. The action is necessary to fulfill terms and conditions of a 2017 United States Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion to minimize incidental take of Endangered Species Act-listed short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) by vessels in the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery. This rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, and other applicable laws, including the Endangered Species Act.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-26592
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) will convene a meeting of the Southern Resident Killer Whale Workgroup (Workgroup).
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-26591
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The SEDAR 60 assessment of the South Atlantic stock of Red Porgy will consist of a data webinar, an in-person workshop, and a series assessment webinars.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-26590
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The SEDAR 62 stock assessment process for Gulf of Mexico gray triggerfish will consist of an In-person Workshop, and a series of data and assessment webinars. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-26589
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) will host a webinar meeting of the Area 2A Pacific halibut governmental management entities. This meeting is open to the public.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2019-26572
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Navy Construction Activities at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, California
Document Number: 2019-26429
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-12-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take marine mammals over the course of five years (2020-2025) incidental to conducting construction activities related to development of a new ammunition pier at Seal Beach, California. As required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is proposing regulations to govern that take, and requests comments on the proposed regulations. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorization and will summarize and respond to such comments in the final notice of our decision.
Control Date for Catcher/Processors Using Pot Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific Cod Fishery
Document Number: 2019-26395
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-12-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
At the request of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), this notice announces a control date of December 10, 2019, that may be used as a reference date for a future management action to limit future access to the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Pacific cod pot catcher/processor sector. This notice is intended to promote awareness of possible rulemaking and provide notice to the public that any participation in the BSAI Pacific cod pot catcher/processor sector after the control date may not ensure continued access to this fishery under a future management action. This notice is also intended to discourage speculative entry into this fishery while the Council considers whether and how access to the fishery may be further limited under a future management action.
Marine Mammals; File No. 22686
Document Number: 2019-26476
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to the Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo (Bill Zeigler, Responsible Party), 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL 60513, to import up to three bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for public display.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Halibut Deck Sorting Monitoring Requirements for Trawl Catcher/Processors Operating in Non-Pollock Groundfish Fisheries Off Alaska; Correction
Document Number: 2019-26433
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-12-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is correcting a final rule that published on October 15, 2019, issuing regulations to implement catch handling and monitoring requirements to allow Pacific halibut (halibut) bycatch to be sorted on the deck of trawl catcher/processors (C/Ps) and motherships participating in the non-pollock groundfish fisheries off Alaska. The final rule incorrectly stated that the collection-of-information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) had been approved by the Office of Management and Business (OMB) at the time the final rule was published. The final rule also inadvertently omitted amendatory language to remove a now obsolete and unnecessary regulation. The intent of this final rule is to make corrections and to stay the effectiveness of associated collection-of-information requirements.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 1 Modification and Expansion
Document Number: 2019-26418
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from the United States Navy for the re-issuance of a previously issued incidental harassment authorization (IHA) with the only change being effective dates. The initial IHA authorized take of five species of marine mammals, by Level A and Level B harassment, incidental to construction associated with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 1 modification and expansion in Kittery, Maine. The project has been delayed and none of the work covered in the initial IHA has been conducted. The initial IHA was effective from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The Navy has requested re-issuance with new effective dates of March 1, 2020, through February 28, 2021. The scope of the activities and anticipated effects remain the same, authorized take numbers are not changed, and the required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting remains the same as included in the initial IHA. NMFS is, therefore, issuing a second IHA to cover the incidental take analyzed and authorized in the initial IHA.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region; Amendment 42
Document Number: 2019-26363
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-12-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS implements management measures described in Amendment 42 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 42), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (South Atlantic Council). This final rule adds three new devices to the Federal regulations as options for fishermen with Federal commercial or charter vessel/ headboat permits for South Atlantic snapper-grouper to meet existing requirements for sea turtle release gear, and updates the regulations to simplify and clarify the requirements for other sea turtle release gear. This final rule also modifies the FMP framework procedure to allow for future changes to release gear and handling requirements for sea turtles and other protected resources. The purpose of this final rule is to allow the use of new devices to safely handle and release incidentally captured sea turtles, clarify existing requirements, and streamline the process for making changes to the release devices and handling procedures for sea turtles and other protected species.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
Document Number: 2019-26360
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Citizen Science Operations Committee via webinar.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of a Status Review for Queen Conch Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
Document Number: 2019-26310
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, announce the initiation of a status review of queen conch (Strombus gigas) to determine whether listing the species as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is warranted. A comprehensive status review must be based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. Therefore, we are asking the public to provide information on the queen conch that will inform our status review.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer From NC to RI
Document Number: 2019-26291
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-12-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2019 commercial bluefish quota to the State of Rhode Island. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial bluefish quotas for North Carolina and Rhode Island.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Determination on the Designation of Critical Habitat for Giant Manta Ray
Document Number: 2019-26265
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, have determined that a designation of critical habitat is not prudent at this time. Based on a comprehensive review of the best scientific data available, we find that there are no identifiable physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of the giant manta ray within areas under U.S. jurisdiction. We also find that there are no areas outside of the geographical area occupied by the species under U.S. jurisdiction that are essential to its conservation. As such, we find that there are no areas within the jurisdiction of the United States that meet the definition of critical habitat for the giant manta ray.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Seabird Research Activities in Central California
Document Number: 2019-26171
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received a request from Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue) for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to seabird research activities in central California over the course of five years from the date of issuance. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of Point Blue's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on Point Blue's application and request.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Marine Site Characterization Surveys Off of Delaware and Maryland
Document Number: 2019-26091
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
``In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to Skipjack Offshore Energy, LLC (Skipjack) to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during marine site characterization surveys offshore of Delaware in the area of the Commercial Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS-A 0519) and along potential submarine cable routes to a landfall location in Delaware or Maryland.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Proposed 2020 and 2021 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
Document Number: 2019-26090
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-12-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications, apportionments, and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2020 and 2021 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). The 2020 harvest specifications supersede those previously set in the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications, and the 2021 harvest specifications will be superseded in early 2021 when the final 2021 and 2022 harvest specifications are published. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Proposed 2020 and 2021 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
Document Number: 2019-26088
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2019-12-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2020 and 2021 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. The 2020 harvest specifications supersede those previously set in the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications, and the 2021 harvest specifications will be superseded in early 2021 when the final 2021 and 2022 harvest specifications are published. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Survey in the Atlantic Ocean
Document Number: 2019-26054
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
On November 30, 2018, NMFS issued an IHA to ION GeoVentures, pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). NMFS has received a request, co-signed by officers from ION GeoVentures (ION) and GX Technology Corporation (GXT), to administratively change the name of the holder of the subject IHA from ION to GXT. No other changes are proposed. NMFS is inviting comments on the proposed change.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: 2019-26031
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2019 Pacific Ocean perch total allowable catch (TAC) in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI.
Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Assessment on the Effects of Issuing an Incidental Take Permit No. 23148
Document Number: 2019-26006
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the effects of issuing an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) (No. 23148) to Exelon Generating Company, LLC, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended, for the incidental take of shortnose (Acipenser brevirostrum) and Atlantic (Acipenser oxyrinchus) sturgeon associated with the otherwise lawful operation of the Eddystone Generating Station in Eddystone, PA. The facility is requesting the permit be issued for a duration of 10 years. NMFS is requesting comment on the draft EA.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Biennial Specifications
Document Number: 2019-25933
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Through this final rule, NMFS is implementing allowable catch levels, an overfishing limit, an allowable biological catch, and an annual catch limit for Pacific mackerel in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington) for the fishing seasons 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, pursuant to the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan. The harvest guideline and annual catch target for the 2019-2020 fishing season are 11,109 metric tons (mt) and 10,109 mt, respectively. The harvest guideline and annual catch target for the 2020-2021 fishing season are 7,950 mt and 6,950 mt, respectively. If the fishery attains the annual catch target in either fishing season, the directed fishery will close, reserving the 1,000-mt difference between the harvest guideline and annual catch target as a set-aside for incidental landings in other Coastal Pelagic Species fisheries and other sources of mortality. This rule is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific mackerel stock off the U.S. West Coast.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Annual Specifications and Management Measures for the 2019 Tribal and Non-Tribal Fisheries for Pacific Whiting, and Requirement To Consider Chinook Salmon Bycatch Before Reapportioning Tribal Whiting; Correction
Document Number: 2019-25931
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-12-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action contains a correction to the final rule published on May 10, 2019, to establish the harvest specifications and management measures for the 2019 Pacific whiting fishery under the authority of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and the Pacific Whiting Act of 2006. This action restores language inadvertently omitted from the final rule that explains that NMFS will consider Chinook salmon bycatch and bycatch rates prior to reapportionment of the tribal Pacific whiting allocation. These corrections are necessary to restore this language so that the regulations accurately implement the National Marine Fisheries Service's intent, as described in the preamble to the final rule.
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Atlantic Menhaden Fishery
Document Number: 2019-25927
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-11-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that on November 15, 2019, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) received a letter from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission finding the Commonwealth of Virginia out of compliance with Amendment 3 to the Atlantic Menhaden Interstate Fishery Management Plan and requesting Federal non-compliance review under the provisions of the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act. This notice is necessary to alert the public that the Secretary has received and is reviewing the referral of non-compliance from the Commission. The intended effect of this notice is to inform the public of the Commission's recommendation to the Secretary and to outline both the decision-making process that will be used and potential outcomes of the non-compliance review. If the Secretary determines that Virginia failed to carry out its responsibilities under the Coastal Atlantic Menhaden Interstate Fishery Management Plan, and if the measures it failed to implement are necessary for conservation of the fishery, then, according to the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act, the Secretary must declare a moratorium on fishing for Atlantic menhaden in Virginia waters.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; 2019 Management Area 1A Sub-Annual Catch Limit Harvested
Document Number: 2019-25926
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-11-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Effective on November 27, 2019, NMFS is closing the directed fishery for Herring Management Area 1A, based on a projection that a threshold catch amount for that management area has been reached. Beginning November 27, 2019, through December 31, 2019, no person may, or attempt to fish for, possess, transfer, receive, land, or sell more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring per trip or calendar day in or from Management Area 1A from a vessel issued and holding a valid Federal herring permit. For the duration of this action, federally permitted dealers may not possess or receive, or attempt to possess or receive, more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring from Management Area 1A per trip or calendar day from vessels issued and holding a valid Federal herring permit. This action is necessary to comply with the regulations implementing the Atlantic herring Fishery Management Plan and is intended to prevent overharvest of herring in Management Area 1A.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2020 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Year
Document Number: 2019-25916
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-11-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This final rule establishes the 2020 opening date for all Atlantic shark fisheries, including the fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. This final rule also establishes the quotas for the 2020 fishing year based on harvest levels during 2019 and the large coastal shark (LCS) retention limits for directed shark limited access permit holders. NMFS may increase or decrease these retention limits for directed shark limited access permit holders during the year, in accordance with existing regulations, to provide, to the extent practicable, equitable fishing opportunities for commercial shark fishermen in all regions and areas. These actions could affect fishing opportunities for commercial shark fishermen in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2019-25880
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-11-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2019-25878
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-11-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Determination of Overfishing or an Overfished Condition
Document Number: 2019-25829
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-11-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action serves as a notice that NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), has found that Oregon cabezon is now subject to overfishing and Atlantic bluefish is now overfished. NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, notifies the appropriate regional fishery management council (Council) whenever it determines that overfishing is occurring, a stock is in an overfished condition, or a stock is approaching an overfished condition.
International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Reopening and Closing of the Purse Seine Fishery in the ELAPS in 2019
Document Number: 2019-25780
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-11-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is temporarily reopening the U.S. purse seine fishery in the Effort Limit Area for Purse Seine, or ELAPS, for ten calendar days because part of the fishing effort limit remains after NMFS closed the fishery effective October 9, 2019 (see 84 FR 52035; October 1, 2019). This action will allow U.S. purse seine vessels to access the remainder of the fishing effort limit specified by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission) in Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) 2018-01, ``Conservation and Management Measure for Bigeye, Yellowfin, and Skipjack Tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.''