National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration February 2009 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Processors Using Hook-and-Line Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: E9-3013
Type: Rule
Date: 2009-02-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher processors using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2009 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to catcher processors using hook-and- line gear in the BSAI.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
Document Number: E9-3011
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council will hold meetings of its ACLG and SSC.
New and Revised Conservation and Management Measures and Resolutions for Antarctic Marine Living Resources Under the Auspices of CCAMLR
Document Number: E9-2516
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of State
At its Twenty-Seventh Meeting in Hobart, Tasmania, from October 27 to November 7, 2008, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), of which the United States is a member, adopted conservation and management measures and resolutions, pending countries' approval, pertaining to fishing in the CCAMLR Convention Area. All the measures were agreed upon in accordance with Article IX of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Convention). Measures adopted restrict overall catches of certain species of finfish, squid, krill and crabs, restrict fishing in certain areas, restrict use of certain fishing gear, specify implementation and inspection obligations supporting the Catch Documentation Scheme of Contracting Parties, promote compliance with CCAMLR measures by non-Contracting Party vessels, and require vessels engaged in bottom fishing to report data on benthic organisms recovered by their gear. This notice includes the full text of the new and revised conservation measures adopted at the Twenty-Seventh meeting of CCAMLR. This notice also includes a listing of conservation measures that carry over from last year without change. The full text of these measures was published in the Federal Register on January 29, 2007, except for Conservation Measures 10-04, 23-06, and 31-02 for which full text was published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2007. NMFS suggests that the public view these measures along with the measures contained in this Federal Register notice for a complete listing of all the measures adopted by CCAMLR at its recent meeting. The full text of all measures adopted by CCAMLR can be found on CCAMLR's Web site http://www.ccamlr.org. This notice, therefore, together with the U.S. regulations referenced under the Supplementary Information, provides a comprehensive register of all current U.S. obligations under CCAMLR.
National Estuarine Research Reserve System
Document Number: E9-2818
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce has approved the Chesapeake Bay Virginia National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan Revision. Notice and an opportunity for public comment on the Revised Management Plan was first published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2008 (73 FR 65837). Four sites along the York River comprise the Chesapeake Bay Virginia National Estuarine Research Reserve; Sweet Hall Marsh, Taskinas Creek, the Catlett Islands, and the Goodwin Islands. The four sites were designated as the Chesapeake Bay Virginia National Estuarine Research Reserve in 1991 pursuant to Section 315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1461. The reserve has been operating in partnership with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science under a management plan approved in 1991. Pursuant to 15 CFR Section 92 1.33(c), a state must revise their management plan every five years. The submission of this plan fulfills this requirement and sets a course for successful implementation of the goals and objectives of the reserve. A boundary expansion, a revised geographic vision for the reserve, new facilities, and updated programmatic objectives are notable revisions to the 1991 approved management plan. The revised management plan outlines the administrative structure; the education, stewardship, and research goals of the reserve; and the plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support reserve operations. This management plan describes how the strengths of the reserve will focus on four areas relevant to the Chesapeake Bay: Functions and linkages of land-margin ecosystems; ecosystem vulnerability to climate and human-induced stressors; water quality and aquatic stressors; and integrated ocean observing systems. Since 1991, the reserve has added a coastal training program that delivers science-based information to key decision makers in the Chesapeake Bay; has completed a site profile that characterizes the reserve; and has expanded the monitoring, stewardship and education programs significantly. A new administrative building (2003) and a new science and education lab (2005) have been built to support the growth of reserve programs. With the approval of this management plan, the Chesapeake Bay Virginia National Estuarine Research Reserve will change their total acreage from 2,849 acres to a new total of 2,705 acres. This change is attributable to boundary modifications at two of the reserve sites. At Sweet Hall Marsh, 189 acres of reserve property are being removed from the reserve boundary due to a change in ownership. At the Taskinas Creek site, 44.5 acres are being added to the reserve boundary to provide a deciduous and hardwood forest buffer to protect the estuarine areas used for research and education. The 1991 Management Plan proposed a multi-phased expansion of the reserve that started with the four sites on the York River and planned to incorporate over 20 sites throughout Virginia to ensure adequate representation of Virginian estuarine areas important to the Chesapeake Bay. This expansion has not occurred since 1991. Due to the anticipated logistical, economic, and programmatic difficulties of having over 20 sites administered as part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve, the 2008 Management Plan focuses on the York River for the next five years.
Marine Mammals; File Nos. 14210 and 782-1719
Document Number: E9-2799
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that LGL Alaska Research Associates (Dr. Tamara McGuire, Principal Investigator), 1101 E. 76\th\ Ave, Suite B, Anchorage, Alaska 99518 (File No. 14210), and the National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML), Alaska Fisheries Science Center (Dr. John L. Bengtson, Principal Investigator), 7600 Sand Point Way, NE., Seattle, Washington 98115-6349 (File No. 782-1719) have applied in due form for a permit and a permit amendment, respectively, to conduct research on the Cook Inlet stock of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas).
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; 2009 Georges Bank Cod Hook Sector Operations Plan and Agreement, and Allocation of Georges Bank Cod Total Allowable Catch
Document Number: E9-2781
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2009-02-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This proposed rule provides interested parties an opportunity to comment on the proposed sector operations plan and supplemental environmental assessment (EA) prior to final approval or disapproval of the sector operations plan and allocation of a Georges Bank (GB) cod total allowable catch (TAC) to the GB Cod Hook Sector (Hook Sector) for fishing year (FY) 2009. Amendment 13 to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) implemented the Hook Sector and authorized annual allocation of up to 20 percent of the GB cod TAC to the Hook Sector. Pursuant to that authorization, a representative of the Hook Sector has submitted an operations plan and sector agreement (contract), and requested an allocation of GB cod to the Hook Sector for FY 2009.
Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Western Pacific Crustacean Fisheries; 2009 Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Lobster Harvest Guideline
Document Number: E9-2779
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the annual harvest guideline for the commercial lobster fishery in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) for calendar year 2009 is established at zero lobsters.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Catching Pacific Cod for Processing by the Inshore Component in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: E9-2748
Type: Rule
Date: 2009-02-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by 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 2009 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod apportioned to vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component of the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: E9-2747
Type: Rule
Date: 2009-02-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is reopening directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) for 12 hours. This action is necessary to fully use the A season allowance of the 2009 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock specified for Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Greater Than or Equal To 60 Feet (18.3 Meters) Length Overall Using Pot Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: E9-2745
Type: Rule
Date: 2009-02-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by pot catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet ([gteqt]18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2009 Pacific cod allowable catch (TAC) specified for pot catcher vessels [gteqt]60 feet (18.3 m) LOA in the BSAI.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Processors Using Pot Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: E9-2744
Type: Rule
Date: 2009-02-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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 A season allowance of the 2009 Pacific cod allowable catch (TAC) specified for pot catcher processors in the BSAI.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Economic Surveys for U.S. Commercial Fisheries
Document Number: E9-2728
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves
Document Number: E9-2676
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) announces its intent to evaluate the performance of the Mississippi Coastal Management Program and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and the California State Coastal Conservancy components of the California Coastal Management Program. The Coastal Zone Management Program evaluations will be conducted pursuant to section 312 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (CZMA) and regulations at 15 CFR Part 923, Subpart L. The CZMA requires continuing review of the performance of states with respect to coastal program implementation. Evaluation of Coastal Management Programs requires findings concerning the extent to which a state has met the national objectives, adhered to its Coastal Management Program document approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and adhered to the terms of financial assistance awards funded under the CZMA. Each evaluation will include a site visit, consideration of public comments, and consultations with interested Federal, state, and local agencies and members of the public. A public meeting will be held as part of the site visit. Notice is hereby given of the dates of the site visits for the listed evaluations, and the dates, local times, and locations of the public meetings during the site visits. Dates and Times: The joint San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and California State Coastal Conservancy evaluation site visit will be held March 9-13, 2009. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be held on Monday, March 9, 2009, at 5 p.m. at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, McAteer-Petris Conference Room, 50 California Street, Suite 2600, San Francisco, California. The Mississippi Coastal Management Program evaluation site visit will be held March 16-20, 2009. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be held on Monday, March 16, 2009, at 6 p.m., at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, 1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Document Number: E9-2652
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) has submitted an amendment to its Tribal Resource Management Plan (Tribal Plan) for NMFS to evaluate. The amendment would allow tribal researchers to take adult and juvenile Puget Sound steelhead and adult Puget Sound Chinook salmon in addition to the fish they already take under the current Tribal Plan. It was presented by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on behalf of the Northwest Indian Tribes; the submission fulfills the Tribes' obligations under the protective regulations promulgated for Puget Sound Chinook salmon, Puget Sound steelhead, and Hood Canal summer-run chum salmon under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Tribal Plan describes research and assessment activities that may affect listed Puget Sound Chinook salmon, Puget Sound steelhead, and Hood Canal summer-run chum salmon in Washington State. NMFS has completed an evaluation of how well the Tribal Plan fulfills ESA criteria and proposes to determine that the Tribal Plan will not appreciably reduce any listed species' likelihood of survival and recovery. The Secretary of Commerce is making NMFS' evaluation and proposed determination available for public comment.
Incidental Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Survey in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, January - February, 2009
Document Number: E9-2664
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued 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 Level B harassment only, incidental to conducting a marine seismic survey in the southwest Pacific Ocean.
Marine Mammals; File No. 1039-1699
Document Number: E9-2662
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that Ann Zoidis, Cetos Research Organization, 11 Des Isle Avenue, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609, has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 1039-1699-01.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; U.S. Navy Training in the Hawaii Range Complex
Document Number: E9-2661
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that a 1-year letter of authorization (LOA) has been issued to the U.S Navy (Navy) for the incidental take of marine mammals during training, maintenance, and research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) activities conducted within the Navy's Hawaii Range Complex (HRC). These activities are considered military readiness activities pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2004 (NDAA).
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Document Number: E9-2659
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received one scientific research permit application request relating to Pacific salmon. The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation efforts.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act; Disaster Assistance Programs; Fisheries Assistance Programs
Document Number: E9-2587
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2009-02-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS extends the public comment period on the proposed rule to govern the requests for determinations of fishery resource disasters as a basis for acquiring potential disaster assistance. NMFS has received requests to extend the comment period for the proposed rule beyond its current 30-day comment period. The extension of the comment period for another 2 months is intended to ensure that NMFS provides adequate time for various stakeholders and other members of the public to comment on the proposed regulations to govern initiating and responding to requests for fisheries disaster assistance. The comment period of the January 15, 2009 (74 FR 2467) rule is extended from February 17, 2009, to April 20, 2009.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 16
Document Number: E9-2583
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2009-02-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this proposed rule to implement Amendment 16 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP)(Amendment 16), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This proposed rule would establish a seasonal closure of the recreational and commercial fisheries for gag and associated grouper species; establish a seasonal closure of the recreational fishery for vermilion snapper; reduce the aggregate bag limit for grouper and tilefish; reduce the bag limit for gag or black grouper combined; reduce the bag limit for vermilion snapper; prohibit captain and crew of a vessel operating as a charter vessel or headboat from retaining any fish under the aggregate bag limit for grouper and tilefish or the vermilion snapper bag limit; establish semiannual quotas for the commercial vermilion snapper fishery; establish a quota for the commercial gag fishery; establish restrictions on the possession, sale, and purchase of gag and associated grouper species after the gag commercial quota is reached; and require possession of a venting tool and dehooking device on board a vessel when fishing for South Atlantic snapper-grouper and use of such tools as needed to accomplish release of fish with minimum injury. In addition, Amendment 16 proposes, for both gag and vermilion snapper, to revise the definitions of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and optimum yield (OY), specify total allowable catch (TAC), and establish interim allocations of TACs for the recreational and commercial sectors. Amendment 16 also proposes to specify a minimum stock size threshold (MSST) for gag and, for the new assessment, for vermilion snapper. The intended effects of this proposed rule are to end overfishing of gag and vermilion snapper, protect shallow-water grouper during their spawning season, and reduce bycatch of snapper-grouper species in the South Atlantic.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Space Vehicle and Test Flight Activities from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California
Document Number: E9-2582
Type: Rule
Date: 2009-02-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS, upon application from the U.S. Air Force (USAF), is issuing regulations to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to launching space launch vehicles, intercontinental ballistic and small missiles, and aircraft and helicopter operations at VAFB for the period February 2009 through February 2014. The USAF's activities are considered military readiness activities pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2004 (NDAA). These regulations, which allow for the issuance of ``Letters of Authorization'' (LOAs) for the incidental take of marine mammals during the described activities and specified time frames, prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species and their habitat, as well as requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications and Management Measures
Document Number: E9-2581
Type: Rule
Date: 2009-02-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action implements 2009 specifications and management measures for Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish (MSB), and modifies existing management measures. Specifically, this action maintains quotas for Atlantic mackerel (mackerel), Illex squid (Illex), and butterfish at the same levels as 2008, while increasing the quota for Loligo squid (Loligo). Additionally, this action increases the incidental possession limit for mackerel and allows for the possibility of an inseason adjustment to increase the mackerel quota, if landings approach harvest limits. These specifications and management measures promote the utilization and conservation of the MSB resource.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Alaska Rockfish Pilot Program
Document Number: E9-2496
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
NOAA to Transfer Ownership of John N. Cobb to Seattle Maritime Academy
Document Number: E9-2374
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-04
Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, Deparatment of Commerce
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations propose to donate NOAA Ship John N. Cobb to Seattle Central Community College: Seattle Maritime Academy under the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980.
Notification of Receipt of a Petition for Rulemaking to Implement the Provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act for Swordfish Imports
Document Number: E9-2369
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2009-02-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In order to provide additional opportunities for the public, foreign nations that export swordfish to the United States, and other interested parties to comment on the petition for rulemaking to implement the provisions of section 101(a)(2)(A) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act for swordfish imports, NMFS is reopening the comment period. On December 15, 2008, NMFS published a notification of receipt of the petition. Based on the December 15, 2008 document, the comment period was scheduled to conclude on January 29, 2009. NMFS is now reopening the comment period until March 23, 2009. Comments received will be considered by NMFS as it determines whether to proceed with the request by Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network. In addition to general comments on the petition, NMFS specifically requests comments on how to define ``United States standards'' as referenced in MMPA section 101(a)(2).
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Application for the NOAA Commissioned Corps
Document Number: E9-2299
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Council Coordination Committee Meeting
Document Number: E9-2264
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS will host a meeting of the Council Coordination Committee (CCC), consisting of the Regional Fishery Management Council chairs, vice chairs, and executive directors in February 2009. The intent of this meeting is to discuss issues of relevance to the Councils, including FY 2009 budget allocations, budgetary planning and performance metrics, the upcoming 5-year grants awards cycle, and implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
National Marine Fisheries Service; Public Meeting
Document Number: E9-2207
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS will hold a workshop for participants that are required to submit an Economic Data Report (EDR) for the Amendment 80 Cooperative Program.
National Marine Fisheries Service; Public Meeting
Document Number: E9-2206
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: E9-2205
Type: Notice
Date: 2009-02-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Joint Skate Committee and Advisory Panel, in February, 2009, to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.