Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Northwest Atlantic Population of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle
We, NMFS and USFWS, announce the availability of the revised Recovery Plan for the Northwest Atlantic Population of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta). The revised recovery plan includes specific recovery objectives and criteria to be met in order to delist this species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).
Incidental Takes of Marine Mammals During Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Survey in Southeast Asia, March-July 2009
On December 22, 2008, the NMFS announced notice of its proposed issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DEO), a part of Columbia University, to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment incidental to conducting a marine seismic survey in Southeast Asia during March-July 2009. Written comments were due by January 21, 2009. Under the unique circumstances of the timing of the publication of the Federal Register notice relative to several Federal holidays, NMFS has decided to extend the public comment period by 15 days, to February 5, 2009.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish Fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area and Gulf of Alaska, Seabird Avoidance Requirements Revisions for International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Area 4E
NMFS issues a proposed rule that would revise the seabird avoidance requirements for the hook-and-line groundfish and halibut fisheries in International Pacific Halibut Commission Area 4E. The proposed rule would eliminate seabird avoidance requirements for hook- and-line vessels less than or equal to 55 ft (16.8 m) length overall in portions of Area 4E in the eastern Bering Sea. This action is necessary to revise seabird avoidance measures based on the latest scientific information and to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and associated costs.
National Marine Fisheries Service; Public Meeting
NMFS will hold a workshop for participants that are required to submit an Economic Data Report for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Non-American Fisheries Act Crab Vessels Catching Pacific Cod for Processing by the Inshore Component in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for the A season allowance of the 2009 Pacific cod sideboard limits apportioned to non- American Fisheries Act (AFA) crab vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2009 Pacific cod sideboard limits apportioned to non-AFA crab vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will hold public meetings.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Secretarial Interim Action
NMFS proposes a temporary Secretarial interim action under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson- Stevens Act) to implement measures intended to immediately reduce overfishing in the Northeast (NE) multispecies fishery, while addressing the need to help sustain fishing communities, without compromising rebuilding objectives. Measures proposed for the commercial fishery include the following: A differential days-at-sea (DAS) area north of 41[deg]30' N. lat., whereby a vessel would be charged 2 days for every day fished; a large Southern New England (SNE) Closure Area; and modified groundfish trip limits. This action does not change the scheduled DAS reduction in the NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP), which would result in an approximate 18-percent reduction in DAS. For private recreational vessels fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and for federally permitted charter/party vessels, this action would extend in time a seasonal prohibition on the possession of Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod, and prohibit the possession of SNE winter flounder. For federally permitted charter/party vessels, this action would implement a trip limit for Georges Bank (GB) cod. In addition, this action proposes to mitigate some of the negative short- term economic impacts of the FMP by making modifications to the DAS Leasing Program, the Regular B DAS Program, and the DAS Transfer Program; continuing the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock Special Access Program (SAP); and implementing a reduction in the haddock minimum size to 18 inches (45 cm). Finally, this action would specify management measures for the U.S./Canada Management Area for fishing year (FY) 2009.
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Regulations
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) publishes this rule to finalize the regulations for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS or Sanctuary). This final rule revises the regulations to implement prohibitions on: Exploring for, developing, or producing minerals within the Sanctuary; abandoning matter on or in Sanctuary submerged lands; taking marine mammals, sea turtles, or seabirds within or above the Sanctuary; possessing within the Sanctuary any marine mammal, sea turtle, or seabird; marking, defacing, damaging, moving, removing, or tampering with Sanctuary signs, monuments, boundary markers, or similar items; introducing or otherwise releasing from within or into the Sanctuary an introduced species; and operating motorized personal watercraft within waters of the Sanctuary that are coextensive with the Channel Islands National Park. NOAA also makes additional changes to the grammar and wording of several sections of the regulations to ensure clarity. Finally, NOAA publishes the Sanctuary's revised terms of designation.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Annual Catch Limits; National Standard Guidelines
This final action amends the guidelines for National Standard 1 (NS1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). This action is necessary to provide guidance on how to comply with new annual catch limit (ACL) and accountability measure (AM) requirements for ending overfishing of fisheries managed by Federal fishery management plans (FMPs). It also clarifies the relationship between ACLs, acceptable biological catch (ABC), maximum sustainable yield (MSY), optimum yield (OY), and other applicable reference points. This action is necessary to facilitate compliance with requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to end and prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks and achieve OY.