Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Notice of Crab Rationalization Program Public Workshops
NMFS will present a series of public workshops on the new Crab Rationalization Program (Program) for participants the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) king and Tanner crab fisheries. At each workshop, NMFS will provide an overview of the Program, discuss the key Program elements, provide information on the application process, and answer questions. NMFS is conducting these public workshops to provide assistance to fishery participants in complying with the requirements of this new Program.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quota Specifications, General Category Effort Controls, and Catch-and-Release Provision
NMFS announces the final initial 2004 fishing year specifications for the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) fishery to set BFT quotas for each of the established domestic fishing categories, to set General category effort controls, and to establish a catch-and-release provision for recreational and commercial BFT handgear vessels during a respective quota category closure. This action is necessary to implement recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), as required by the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and to achieve domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic; Amendment 15
NMFS announces that the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (Councils) have submitted Amendment 15 to the FMP for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 15 would establish a limited access system for the commercial fishery for Gulf and Atlantic group king mackerel, and change the fishing year for Atlantic migratory groups of king and Spanish mackerel to March 1 through February 28-29. The intended effect of Amendment 15 is to support the Council's efforts to achieve optimum yield in the fishery, and provide social and economic benefits associated with maintaining stability in the fishery.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic Region; Amendment 6
NMFS announces that the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 6 to the FMP for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 6 would modify the FMP's bycatch reduction device (BRD) framework by transferring authority from the Council to NMFS for the BRD testing protocol and by modifying the bycatch reduction criteria established in the BRD framework; require the use of BRDs in the rock shrimp fishery in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic; establish bycatch reporting requirements for the shrimp fishery of the South Atlantic EEZ; require that all shrimp vessels harvesting penaeid shrimp in the South Atlantic EEZ obtain an annually renewable Federal shrimp vessel permit from NMFS; and establish or modify stock status criteria for white, brown, pink, and rock shrimp. The intended effect of Amendment 6 is to enhance the ecological efficiency of the shrimp fishery of the South Atlantic EEZ by better identifying the bycatch taken in the fishery and conserving those species found in the bycatch, while sustaining the viability of the shrimp fishery with a minimum of economic and social impacts.
Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for Issuance of an Incidental Take Permit Associated With a Habitat Conservation Plan for Western Placer County, CA
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are issuing this notice to advise the public that we intend to gather information necessary to prepare, in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Placer County Conservation Plan (PCCP). The Service is the lead agency for this EIS, and NOAA and the Corps are cooperating agencies. Placer County Planning Department, the Resource Conservation District, the City of Lincoln, the Placer County Water Agency, and the South Placer Regional Transportation Authority (Applicants) intend to apply to the Service and NOAA for 50-year Endangered Species Act (ESA) permits. The permits are needed to authorize the incidental take of species that could occur as a result of implementation activities proposed to be covered under the PCCP. The Service, in cooperation with NOAA and the Corps, provides this notice to: (1) Describe the proposed action and possible alternatives; (2) advise other Federal and State agencies, affected Tribes, and the public of our intent to prepare an EIS/EIR; (3) announce the initiation of a public scoping period; and (4) obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues and alternatives to be included in the EIS/EIR.