Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Swordfish Quotas
NMFS proposes to amend the regulations governing the North and South Atlantic swordfish fisheries to modify the North and South Atlantic Swordfish quotas for the 2005 fishing year (June 1, 2005, through May 31, 2006) to account for updated landings information from the 2003 and 2004 fishing years. This action is necessary to ensure that current quotas are based on the most recent landings information and account for any underharvest from previous fishing years, consistent with the regulations at 50 CFR part 635. Additionally, this action proposes to implement a subsequent recommendation by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) (Recommendation 04-02), which extends the 2005 North Atlantic swordfish management measures. The recommendation specifies that the extension of the 2005 North Atlantic swordfish quota is through the 2006 fishing year, but this proposed action would extend the 2005 North Atlantic swordfish management measures until ICCAT provides a recommendation for a new U.S. allocation of the North Atlantic swordfish total allowable catch. ICCAT's Standing Committee for Research and Statistics (SCRS) plans to conduct a stock assessment for North Atlantic swordfish in 2006. If the stock assessment is completed as anticipated, ICCAT intends to review the results during the Fall 2006 meeting and develop new management recommendations. In the event that ICCAT does not recommend a new U.S. allocation, this action proposes to extend the 2005 North Atlantic swordfish management measures until such time as ICCAT provides the recommendation.
International Whaling Commission; 58th
This notice is a call for nominees for the U.S. Delegation to the June 2006 International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting. The non-federal representative(s) selected as a result of this nomination process is(are) responsible for providing input and recommendations to the U.S. IWC Commissioner representing the positions of non-governmental organizations. Generally, only one non-governmental position is selected for the U.S. Delegation.
Incidental Take of Marine Mammals; Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Missile Launch Operations from San Nicolas Island, CA
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, notification is hereby given that a letter of authorization (LOA) to take 3 species of marine mammals incidental to missile launch operations from San Nicolas Island, CA (SNI) has been issued to the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWC-WD), Point Mugu, CA.
Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas
NMFS announces the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales, and other limitations deriving from regulations adopted at the 2002 Special Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). For 2006, the quota is 75 bowhead whales struck. This quota and other limitations will govern the harvest of bowhead whales by members of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC).
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Snapper Grouper Committee, Ecosystem-Based Management Committee, Scientific and Statistical Selection Committee (CLOSED SESSION), Advisory Panel Selection Committee (CLOSED SESSION), Protected Resources Committee, Joint Executive/Finance Committees, Information and Education Committee, and a meeting of the full Council.
Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Application for an Exempted Fishing Permit
NMFS announces the receipt of applications, and the intent to issue EFPs for vessels participating in an observation program to monitor the incidental take of salmon and groundfish in the shore-based component of the Pacific whiting fishery. The EFPs are necessary to allow trawl vessels fishing for Pacific whiting to delay sorting their catch, and thus to retain prohibited species and groundfish in excess of cumulative trip limits, until the point of offloading. These activities are otherwise prohibited by Federal regulations.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP)
The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (AA), NOAA, announces temporary restrictions consistent with the requirements of the ALWTRP's implementing regulations. These regulations apply to lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet fishermen for 15 days in an area southeast of Portland, ME, totaling approximately 886 nm\2\ to 1,569 nm\2\ (3,039 km\2\ to 5,382 km\2\), depending on the temporal and spatial overlap with two other DAM zones currently in effect. The two other overlapping DAM zones are in effect from 0001 hours February 3, 2006 through 2400 hours February 17, 2006,and from 0001 hours February 10, 2006, through 2400 hours February 24, 2006. The purpose of this action is to provide protection to an aggregation of northern right whales (right whales).
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Closure of the Quarter I Fishery for Loligo Squid
NMFS announces that the directed fishery for Loligo squid in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will be closed effective 0001 hours, February 13, 2006. Vessels issued a Federal permit to harvest Loligo squid may not retain or land more than 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) of Loligo squid per trip for the remainder of the quarter (through March 31, 2006). This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from exceeding its Quarter I quota and to allow for effective management of this stock.