Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS apportions amounts of the non-specified reserve of groundfish to certain target species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to account for previous harvest of the total allowable catch (TAC). It is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the fishery management plan for groundfish of the BSAI.
Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements
NMFS issues this 30-day temporary rule to allow shrimp fishermen to continue to use limited tow times as an alternative to Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) in inshore and offshore waters from the Florida/Alabama border, westward to the Louisiana/Texas border, and extending offshore 20 nautical miles. The previous 30-day variances of the TED requirements were from September 23 through October 23, 2005; October 11 through November 10, 2005; October 22 through November 23, 2005; and from November 24 through December 23, 2005, for waters affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These variances were initially for 50 nautical miles, while the most recent variance was for 20 nautical miles. After an investigation, NMFS has determined that excessive debris is still affecting fishermen's ability to use TEDs effectively in an area extending approximately 20 nm offshore. This action is necessary because environmental conditions resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita persist on the fishing grounds, preventing some fishermen from using TEDs effectively.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico Commercial Grouper Fishery; Trip Limit
NMFS issues this final rule to implement a regulatory amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule establishes a 6,000-lb (2,722-kg) commercial trip limit for shallow-water and deep-water grouper, combined, in the exclusive economic zone of the Gulf of Mexico. The intended effect of this final rule is to minimize the effects of derby fishing and prolong the fishing season.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; 2006 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications; Preliminary 2006 Quota Adjustments; 2006 Summer Flounder Quota for Delaware
NMFS issues final specifications for the 2006 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries, and makes preliminary adjustments to the 2006 commercial quotas for these fisheries. This final rule specifies allowed harvest limits for both commercial and recreational fisheries, including scup possession limits. This action prohibits federally permitted commercial vessels from landing summer flounder in Delaware in 2006. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise the State of Delaware, Federal vessel permit holders, and Federal dealer permit holders that no commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in Delaware in 2006. This action also defines the total length measurement for black sea bass and makes changes to the regulations regarding the commercial black sea bass pot/trap fishery. The intent of this action is to establish harvest levels and other measures to attain the target fishing mortality (F) or exploitation rates, as specified for these species in the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP), to reduce bycatch, and to improve the efficiency of the commercial black sea bass fishery.