Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Conducting Oil and Gas Exploration Activities in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska
NMFS and the Minerals Management Service (MMS) announce their intention to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). This PEIS is being prepared to assess the impacts of MMS' annual authorizations under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) to the U.S. oil and gas industry to conduct offshore geophysical seismic surveys in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska, and NMFS' authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to incidentally harass marine mammals while conducting those surveys. Publication of this notice begins the official scoping period that will help clarify previously identified issues and alternatives to be considered in the PEIS. The NMFS and MMS will consider comments received in response to this notice in determining the scope of the PEIS. The public will have additional opportunities to comment on the draft PEIS and any applications received under the MMPA as part of this action.
Marine Mammals; File No. 775-1600; Correction
On November 2, 2006, a notice was published in the Federal Register announcing that NMFS had received an application for an amendment to Permit No. 775-1600 from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA. That document inadvertently omitted the DATES section informing the public of when comments would be accepted on the action. This document corrects that oversight. All other information is unchanged.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico Recreational Grouper Fishery Management Measures
NMFS issues this final rule to implement the seasonal closure provisions of a regulatory amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule establishes a seasonal closure of the recreational fishery for gag, red grouper, and black grouper in or from the Gulf exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The intended effect of this final rule is to help maintain recreational landings at levels consistent with the red grouper rebuilding plan while minimizing potential shift of fishing effort to associated grouper species.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Allocating Gulf of Alaska Fishery Resources; Notification of Rockfish Pilot Program Public Workshop
NMFS will present a public workshop on the Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Pilot Program (Program) for potentially eligible participants and other interested parties. NMFS will provide an overview of the Program, discuss the key Program elements and answer questions. NMFS is conducting this public workshop to provide assistance to fishery participants in understanding and reviewing this new Program.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a joint meeting of its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel, Snapper Grouper Committee, Controlled Access Committee, a joint meeting of its Habitat Committee and Ecosystem-Based Management Committee, Southeastern Data Assessment and Review (SEDAR) Committee, a joint meeting of its Executive Committee and Finance Committee, a joint meeting of its Law Enforcement Advisory Panel and Committee, King and Spanish Mackerel Committee, Economics Committee, Advisory Panel Selection Committee (Closed Session), Personnel Committee (Closed Session), and a meeting of the full Council. In addition, the Council will also hold a public scoping meeting regarding gag grouper management and a general public input session.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Application for an Exempted Fishing Permit
This notice announces receipt of an application for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) from the Aleut Enterprise Corporation (AEC). If granted, this permit would be used to support a project to assess pollock abundance in a portion of the Aleutian Islands subarea and to test the feasibility of managing pollock harvest at a finer temporal and spatial scale using near real-time acoustic surveying. The project is intended to promote the objectives of the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) by improving the use of pollock in the Aleutian Islands subarea.