Endangered Fish and Wildlife; Proposed Rule to Implement Speed Restrictions to Reduce the Threat of Ship Collisions with North Atlantic Right Whales; Extension of Public Comment Period
On June 26, 2006, NMFS proposed regulations to implement speed restrictions on vessels 65 ft (19.8 m) or greater in overall length in certain locations and at certain times of the year along the east coast of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard to reduce the likelihood of deaths and serious injuries to endangered North Atlantic right whales that result from collisions with ships. NMFS is extending the public comment period on the proposed regulations until October 5, 2006.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a series of 8 public hearings regarding Amendment 14 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 14 will establish a series of 8 marine protected areas (MPAs) in Federal waters off the South Atlantic to protect a portion of the population and habitat of long-lived, slow-growing, deepwater snapper grouper species (snowy grouper, misty grouper, speckled hind, yellowedge grouper, warsaw grouper, golden tilefish, and blueline tilefish) from directed fishing pressure. Proposed as ``Type II'' MPAs, fishing for and possession of snapper grouper species would be prohibited in the area, but fishermen would be allowed to troll for pelagic species such as tuna, mackerel, and billfish. Amendment 14 includes alternatives for the use of Vessel Monitoring Systems as an enforcement tool for the MPAs. Additionally, the Council intends to work closely with NOAA Fisheries' Highly Migratory Species Division to prohibit the use of bottom longlines by shark fishermen in the proposed MPAs.
Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC); Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Workshop
The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the PSMFC Recreational Fisheries Information Network (RecFIN) Technical Committee, and the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) are hosting a workshop on the RecFIN data system which is open to the public.
Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Western Pacific Bottomfish and Seamount Groundfish Fisheries; Guam Bottomfish Management Measures
This proposed rule would implement Amendment 9 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bottomfish and Seamount Groundfish Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region (FMP), which would prohibit large vessels, i.e., those 50 ft (15.2 m) or longer, from fishing for bottomfish in Federal waters within 50 nm (92.6 km) around Guam, and would establish Federal permitting and reporting requirements for these large bottomfish fishing vessels. The proposed rule is intended to maintain viable bottomfish catch rates by small vessels in the fishery, to sustain participation by smaller vessels in the fishery, to maintain traditional patterns of the bottomfish supply to local Guam markets, and to provide for the collection of adequate fishery information for effective management.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Atka Mackerel Lottery in Areas 542 and 543
NMFS is notifying the owners and operators of registered vessels of their assignments for the 2006 B season Atka mackerel fishery in harvest limit area (HLA) 542 and/or 543 of the Aleutian Islands subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the harvest of the 2006 B season HLA limits established for areas 542 and 543 pursuant to the 2006 and 2007 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI.