Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries
The final rule implementing the specifications for the 2005 fishing year for Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish (MSB) clarified the expiration date of the limited entry program for Illex squid, established a minimum mesh requirement for the butterfish fishery, and removed a regulatory requirement for annual specifications to be published by a specific date. These regulatory measures were intended to be of a permanent nature, unlike the specifications themselves, which expired January 1, 2006. An error in the final rule caused these three measures to expire; this proposed rule would restore the regulatory requirements. This action is being taken by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Movement of Barges through the Beaufort Sea between West Dock and Cape Simpson or Point Lonely, Alaska
In accordance with regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a barging operation within the U.S. Beaufort Sea has been issued to FEX L.P. (FEX), a subsidiary of Talisman Energy, Inc., for a period of 1 year.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States
NMFS announces the receipt of an application for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) from Scott Baker on behalf of the North Carolina Sea Grant Extension Program. If granted, the EFP would authorize the applicant, with certain conditions, to collect limited numbers of black sea bass in South Atlantic Federal waters off the coast of North Carolina. The purpose of the study is to quantify fish size selectivity by sea bass pot type and determine regulatory discard mortality rates.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Individual Fishing Quota Program for Gulf Commercial Red Snapper Fishery
NMFS announces the availability of Amendment 26 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resource of the Gulf of Mexico (Amendment 26) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). Amendment 26 would establish an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program for the Gulf of Mexico commercial red snapper fishery. The intended effect of Amendment 26 is to reduce overcapacity in the commercial red snapper fishery and to eliminate, to the extent possible, the problems associated with derby fishing, in order to assist the Council in achieving optimum yield (OY) from the fishery.