National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration September 23, 2008 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Tuna Fisheries; Pelagic and Bottom Longline Fisheries; Gear Authorization and Turtle Control Devices
NMFS authorizes green[dash]stick gear for the harvest of Atlantic tunas, including bluefin tuna (BFT), and requires a sea turtle control device in Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) pelagic longline (PLL) and bottom longline (BLL) fisheries. At this time, NMFS is not authorizing harpoon gear for the harvest of Atlantic tunas in the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat (CHB) category as originally proposed. The purpose of this final rule is to ensure fishermen harvest Atlantic tunas within quotas, size limits, or other established limitations and to distinguish green[dash]stick fishing gear from current definitions of other authorized gear types. This final rule also addresses use of sea turtle control devices in the PLL and BLL fisheries to achieve and maintain low post[dash]release mortality of sea turtles thus maintaining consistency with the 2004 Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the Atlantic PLL fishery and to increase safety at sea for fishermen when handling sea turtles caught or entangled in longline fishing gear. NMFS also has revised its list of equipment models that NMFS has approved as meeting the minimum design specifications for the careful release of sea turtles caught in hook and line fisheries.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Framework Adjustment 19; Correcting Amendment
NMFS is correcting regulatory text implementing measures that were approved as part of Framework Adjustment 19 (Framework 19) to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP), which was developed by the New England Fishery Management Council (Council). This correction specifies the September 1 through October 1 Elephant Trunk Sea Scallop Access Area (ETAA) seasonal closure, which was inadvertently removed from the regulations in the final rule for Framework 19. This rule also corrects an incorrect reference to the Nantucket Lightship Access Area included in the regulations for the ETAA, and includes the total allowable catch (TAC) values.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Closure
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific sardine. This action is necessary because the directed harvest allocation total for the third allocation period (September 15 - December 31) is projected to be reached. From the date of closure until the new fishing season begins on January 1, 2009, Pacific sardine may only be harvested incidental to other fisheries, with incidental harvest constrained by a 20-percent by weight incidental catch rate. Fishing vessels must be in the process of offloading at the time of closure.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the C season allowance of the 2008 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock for Statistical Area 630 in the GOA.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Pot Catcher Processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by pot catcher processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2008 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to pot catcher processors in the BSAI.
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its 143rd meeting to consider and take actions on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Law Enforcement Advisory Panel (LEAP).
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Groundfish Allocation Committee (GAC) will a hold working meeting, which is open to the public.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a three-day Council meeting, on October 7-9, 2008, to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Availability of Seats for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS or Sanctuary) is seeking applicants for the Tourism alternate on its Sanctuary Advisory Council. Applicants chosen as the Tourism alternate should expect to serve until February 2011. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the alternate position for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the Sanctuary.