Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; 2006 Georges Bank Fixed Gear Sector Operations Plan and Agreement and Allocation of Georges Bank Cod Total Allowable Catch
Framework Adjustment (FW) 42 to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and FW 3 to the Monkfish FMP propose creation of the Georges Bank (GB) Cod Fixed Gear Sector (Fixed Gear Sector). If approved in FW 42/FW 3, the Fixed Gear Sector would be eligible for an annual allocation of up to 20 percent of the annual GB cod total allowable catch (TAC). Therefore, in accordance with the FMP, and pursuant to the anticipated approval of FW 42/FW 3, a representative of the Fixed Gear Sector submitted an Operations Plan, Sector Agreement (Contract), and Environmental Assessment (EA), and requested an allocation of GB cod to the Fixed Gear Sector for fishing year 2006 (FY 2006). The Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that documents submitted by the Fixed Gear Sector comply with the procedural regulations regarding an annual Operations Plan and Sector Contract. This noticedocument provides interested parties an opportunity to comment on the proposed Sector Operations Plan and EA (prior to approval or disapproval of FW 42, which would authorize the formation of the Fixed Gear Sector), and prior to final approval or disapproval of the Sector Operations Plan and allocation of GB cod TAC to the Fixed Gear Sector for FY 2006. Comments regarding the formation of the Fixed Gear Sector (as opposed to the FY 2006 Operations Plan and Sector Contract, which are the subject of this proposed rule) should be submitted as described in the proposed rule for FW 42.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Specifications and Management Measures
This action extends a temporary rule, now in effect, that establishes the 2006 optimum yield (OY) for darkblotched rockfish caught in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. This action, which is authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson- Stevens Act), is intended to protect darkblotched rockfish, an overfished groundfish species.
List of Fisheries for 2006
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is publishing its final List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2006, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The final 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.