Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act; Atlantic Striped Bass Fishery
Based on recommendations contained in Amendment 6 to Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass (Amendment 6) and comments received from an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR), NMFS previously announced its intent to begin a scoping process to gather information for the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS). Initial scoping occurred during nine public hearings in November-December 2003. Due to the significant time that had passed since these initial scoping hearings, NMFS is seeking additional scoping on its preliminary draft analyses of Federal management options to open the EEZ to the harvest of Atlantic Striped Bass. The purpose of this notice is to alert the interested public of this further scoping process and to provide for public participation in compliance with environmental documentation requirements.
Sea Turtle Conservation; Public Hearing Notification
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is announcing its intent to hold a public hearing to inform interested parties of the proposed modifications to Federal regulations affecting pound net leaders in the Virginia Chesapeake Bay and to accept public comments on this action.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Model Evaluation Workgroup (MEW) will hold a work session to develop and review documentation for the Chinook and Coho Fishery Regulation Assessment Models (FRAMs). The meeting is open to the public.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Permit Family of Forms
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.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Allocating Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crab Fishery Resources
NMFS proposes changes to the regulations implementing the Crab Rationalization Program. This action is necessary to correct two discrepancies in the scope of the sideboard protections for Gulf of Alaska (GOA) groundfish fisheries provided in a previous rulemaking. Specifically, this action would remove the sideboard restrictions from vessels that did not generate Bering Sea snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) quota share and would apply the sideboards to federally permitted vessels operating in the State of Alaska (State) parallel fisheries. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) King and Tanner Crabs (FMP), the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and other applicable law.
List of Fisheries for 2006
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is publishing the proposed List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2006, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The proposed LOF for 2006 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. NMFS must categorize each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level of serious injury and mortality of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The categorization of a fishery in 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 requirements.
Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Exercise Training Events Within the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area (OpArea)
NMFS has received an application from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting RIMPAC ASW training events, in which submarines, surface ships, and aircraft from the United States and multiple foreign nations participate in ASW training exercises, utilizing mid-frequency sonar (1 kilohertz (kHz) to 10 kHz), in the U.S. Navy's Hawaiian Operating Area (OpArea) in the summer of 2006. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an authorization to the Navy to incidentally harass several species of marine mammals during the training exercises.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Closure of the Quarter II 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, April 21, 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 June 30, 2006). This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from exceeding its Quarter II quota and to allow for effective management of this stock.