Notice of Web Site Publication
Notice is hereby given of public access via http:// www.climate.noaa.gov to information pertaining to an upcoming Climate Program Office solicitation of grant proposals.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Habitat Committee (HC) will hold a meeting that is open to the public.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Mid-Atlantic Council's (Council) Squid, Mackerel, and Butterfish Monitoring Committee will hold a public meeting.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Research Steering Committee (Committee), in May, 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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Monkfish Committee on May 27, 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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The New England Fishery Management Council's (Council) Groundfish Advisory Panel and Recreational Advisory Panel will hold meetings to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold five public hearings to solicit Public comments on Draft Amendment 16 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP).
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene public hearings on Reef Fish Amendment 31.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a public meeting of the Outreach and Education Advisory Panel (AP).
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Closure of the 2009 Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fishery for Red Snapper
NMFS closes the recreational fishery for red snapper in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf). In addition, a person aboard a vessel for which a Federal charter vessel/ headboat permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued, must also abide by these closure provisions in state waters if the Federal closure provisions are more restrictive than applicable state law. NMFS has determined this action is necessary to prevent the recreational fishery from exceeding its quota for the fishing year. This closure is necessary to prevent overfishing of Gulf red snapper.
Incidental Takes of Marine Mammals During Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Survey in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, August - October 2009
NMFS has received an application from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DEO), a part of Columbia University, for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a seismic survey in the northeast Pacific Ocean. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS requests comments on its proposal to authorize L-DEO to take, by Level B harassment only, small numbers of marine mammals incidental to conducting a marine seismic survey during August through October, 2009.
Electronic Filing of Trade Documents for Fishery Products
NMFS issues this advance notice of proposed rulemaking to announce that it is revising procedures to file import and export documentation for certain fishery products to meet requirements of the SAFE Port Act of 2006, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, other applicable statutes, and obligations that arise from U.S. participation in regional fishery management organizations. Specifically, NMFS intends to integrate the collection of trade documentation within the government-wide International Trade Data System and require electronic information collection through the automated internet portal maintained by the United States Customs and Border Protection. NMFS is seeking advance public comment on the feasibility of electronic reporting by parties involved in an import or export transaction for applicable seafood products.
Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Construction and Operation of a Liquefied Natural Gas Facility off Massachusetts
NMFS received an application from Neptune LNG, L.L.C. (Neptune) for take of marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to construction and operation of an offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Massachusetts Bay. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to Neptune to incidentally take, by harassment, small numbers of several species of marine mammals during construction and operations of the LNG facility for a period of 1 year.
Notice of Availability of the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program Record of Decision
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP). This ROD announces NMFS' decisions for implementing the MMHSRP. Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and implementing regulations, NMFS prepared a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) that evaluated the potential environmental and socioeconomic effects associated with alternatives for the MMHSRP's activities.
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Sea Turtle Conservation and Recovery in Relation to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico Trawl Fisheries and To Conduct Public Scoping Meetings
NMFS intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and to conduct public scoping meetings to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by assessing potential impacts resulting from the proposed implementation of new sea turtle regulations in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico trawl fisheries. These requirements are proposed to protect threatened and endangered sea turtles in the western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico from incidental capture, and would be implemented under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NMFS announced consideration of rulemaking for these new sea turtle regulations February 15, 2007 in an Advance Notice of Public Rulemaking.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Limited Access General Category Scallop Fishery to Individual Fishing Quota Scallop Vessels
NMFS announces that the Limited Access General Category (LAGC) Scallop Fishery will close to individual fishing quota (IFQ) scallop vessels until it re-opens on June 1, 2009, under current regulations. This action is based on the determination that the first quarter scallop total allowable catch (TAC) for LAGC IFQ scallop vessels (including vessels issued an IFQ letter of authorization (LOA) to fish under appeal), is projected to be landed. This action is being taken to prevent IFQ scallop vessels from exceeding the 2009 first quarter TAC, in accordance with the regulations implementing Amendment 11 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP), enacted by Framework 19 to the FMP, and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Endangered Species; File No. 13543
Notice is hereby given that South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, 217 Ft. Johnson Rd., Charleston, SC 29412, has been issued a permit to take loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Northeast Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that the subject exempted fishing permit (EFP) application contains all the required information and warrants further consideration. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Assistant Regional Administrator proposes to recommend that an EFP be issued that would allow one commercial fishing vessel to conduct fishing operations that are otherwise restricted by the regulations governing the fisheries of the Northeastern United States. The EFP, which would enable the applicants to investigate the selectivity of different groundfish trawl codend configurations with a small-mesh cover, would allow for exemptions for one vessel from the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) as follows: NE multispecies Gulf of Maine (GOM) minimum mesh size. In addition, this EFP would allow temporary exemptions from the NE Multispecies and Monkfish FMPs, per the stipulations detailed in this document, as follows: NE multispecies minimum fish sizes; NE multispecies possession restrictions; monkfish minimum fish sizes; and monkfish possession restrictions.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications Modification
NMFS proposes a regulation to adjust the harvest specifications for Pacific sardine in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the Pacific coast for the fishing season of January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2009. The proposed action would increase the tonnage of Pacific sardine allocated for industry conducted research from 1200 metric tons (mt) to 2400 mt and decreases the second and third period directed harvest allocations by 750 mt and 450 mt, respectively.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) announces a workshop on Annual Catch Limits, to be held May 21, 22, 2009 in Seattle, WA.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Comprehensive Data Collection Committee will meet in Seattle, WA.
Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Guided Sport Charter Vessel Fishery for Halibut
NMFS implements regulations to limit the harvest of Pacific halibut by guided sport charter vessel anglers in International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Regulatory Area 2C (Area 2C) of Southeast Alaska to one halibut per day. This action is necessary to reduce the halibut harvest in the guided sport charter vessel (guided) sector. The intended effect of this action is to manage the harvest of halibut in Area 2C consistent with an allocation strategy recommended by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for the guided fishery and the commercial fishery. This final rule implements three restrictions for the guided fishery for halibut in Area 2C: a one-fish daily bag limit, no harvest by the charter vessel guide and crew, and a line limit equal to the number of charter vessel anglers onboard, not to exceed six lines.
Availability of Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Funds for Fiscal Year 2009; Amendment
NOAA publishes this notice to amend the Federal Funding Opportunity (NMFS-NWRO-2009-2001656) entitled ``Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund 2009'' which was originally announced in the Federal Register on Friday, January 2, 2009. This notice announces changes to the eligibility criteria, program priorities, funding amount, and application deadline for proposals to implement the requirements of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Sea Turtle Conservation
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) currently requires the use of chain-mat modified dredge gear in the Atlantic sea scallop fishery south of 41[deg]9.0' North latitude from May 1 through November 30 each year. This gear is necessary to help reduce mortality and injury to endangered and threatened sea turtles captured in this fishery and to conserve sea turtles listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This proposed action would make minor modifications to the current requirements by clarifying where on the dredge the chain mat should be hung; by excluding the sweep from the requirement that the side of each opening in the chain mat be less than or equal to 14 inches (35.5 cm); and by adding definitions of the sweep and the diamonds, which are terms used to describe parts of the scallop dredge gear. Any incidental take of threatened sea turtles in Atlantic sea scallop dredge gear in compliance with the gear modification requirements and all other applicable requirements will be exempted from the ESA prohibition against takes. NMFS is requesting public comment on this action, the focus of which is the minor modifications described here. NMFS is not accepting public comment on the existing chain mat requirements through this proposed rule.
Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2009 Management Measures
NMFS establishes fishery management measures for the 2009 ocean salmon fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California and the 2010 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 2010. Specific fishery management measures vary by fishery and by area. The measures establish fishing areas, seasons, quotas, legal gear, recreational fishing days and catch limits, possession and landing restrictions, and minimum lengths for salmon taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) (3- 200 NM) off Washington, Oregon, and California. The management measures are intended to prevent overfishing and to apportion the ocean harvest equitably among treaty Indian, non-treaty commercial, and recreational fisheries. The measures are also intended to allow a portion of the salmon runs to escape the ocean fisheries in order to provide for spawning escapement and to provide for inside fisheries (fisheries occurring in state internal waters).
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Biennial Specifications and Management Measures
This final rule establishes the 2009 fishery specifications for Pacific whiting in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and state waters off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, as authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). These specifications include the level of the acceptable biological catch (ABC), optimum yield (OY), and allocations for the non-tribal commercial sectors. This final rule also announces the reapportionment of Pacific whiting allocation from the tribal sector to the non-tribal sectors; adjusts bycatch limits for the non-tribal commercial sectors of the Pacific whiting fishery; and corrects the Pacific whiting primary season dates.
Interagency Cooperation Under the Endangered Species Act
With this final rule, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce amend regulations governing interagency cooperation under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). In accordance with the statutory authority set forth in the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 111-8), this rule implements the regulations that were in effect immediately before the effective date of the regulation issued on December 16, 2008, entitled ``Interagency Cooperation Under the Endangered Species Act.''
Implementation of New Competitive Prevention, Control, and Mitigation of Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) Program and Regional Rotation of the Existing and New National Competitive HAB Programs
NOAA announces the implementation, under the authorities of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA) of 1998, as reauthorized in 2004, of a new competitive research program on Prevention, Control, and Mitigation of Harmful Algal Blooms (PCM HAB). This third national competitive program is a companion to the two existing national harmful algal bloom (HAB) programs, Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) and Monitoring and Event Response of Harmful Algal Blooms (MERHAB), already implemented under the authorities of HABHRCA. PCM HAB will transition promising technologies and strategies for prevention, control, and mitigation, arising from these and other HAB research programs, to end-users. In addition, NOAA is announcing that funding opportunity announcements for ECOHAB, MERHAB, and HAB PCM will be rotated regionally on a three year basis. The three regional groupings are: Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean/ Pacific Islands; West Coast, Alaska, and Great Lakes; and South Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, Gulf of Maine.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Tilefish; Amendment 1
NMFS announces that the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 1 to the Tilefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (Amendment 1), incorporating the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), for review by the Secretary of Commerce. NMFS is requesting comments from the public on Amendment 1. The
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Atlantic Mackerel, Butterfish, Atlantic Bluefish, Spiny Dogfish, Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass, Tilefish, Surfclam, and Ocean Quahog Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures Omnibus Amendment; Scoping Process
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) extends the comment period on its intention to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, an EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to assess potential effects on the human environment of alternative
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; 2009 Atlantic Bluefish Specifications
NMFS issues final specifications for the 2009 Atlantic bluefish fishery, including state-by-state commercial quotas, a recreational harvest limit, and recreational possession limits for Atlantic bluefish off the east coast of the United States. The intent of these specifications is to establish the allowable 2009 harvest levels and possession limits to attain the target fishing mortality rate (F), consistent with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP).
Marine Mammals; File No. 633-1763
Notice is hereby given that the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS), P.O. Box 1036,Provincetown, MA 02657, has withdrawn its application for an amendment to scientific research Permit No. 633- 1763.
Ocean Education Grants for AZA Aquariums
The NOAA Office of Education (OEd) is issuing a request for applications to support education projects designed to engage the public in activities that increase ocean and/or climate literacy and the adoption of a stewardship ethic. Funded projects will be between one and five years in duration and will support ocean education projects led by eligible applicants. Eligible applicants are only 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that are either aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) or have a legally sanctioned affiliation with an AZA-accredited aquarium. There is a required 50 percent non-Federal cost-share of the total Federal request, e.g., if the Federal request is $1,000,000, the applicant is required to submit a non-Federal match equal to $500,000. This solicitation meets NOAA's mission goal to protect, restore, and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources through an ecosystem approach to management. It is anticipated that recommendations for funding under this announcement will be made by August 30, 2009, and that projects funded under this announcement will have a start date no earlier than October 1, 2009. Note: A PDF version of this announcement is available at http:// www.oesd.noaa.gov/funding_opps.html.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States
Several sections of the regulations governing the fisheries of the northeastern United States contain minor inadvertent errors, omissions, and ambiguities. This rule revises the portions of the Northeast (NE) fishery regulations that relate to the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) and prohibitions, standardizes the VMS vendor requirements, and adds prohibitions and other regulations to clarify existing policies and requirements.
Science Advisory Board
This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the NOAA Science Advisory Board. The members will discuss and provide advice on issues outlined in the agenda below.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; 2009 Specifications for the Spiny Dogfish Fishery
NMFS announces specifications for the spiny dogfish fishery for the 2009 fishing year (FY) (May 1, 2009, through April 30, 2010), and modifies existing management measures. NMFS is implementing a spiny dogfish quota of 12 million lb (5,443.11 mt) for FY 2009, and a possession limit of 3,000 lb (1.36 mt).
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received 19 scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon and green sturgeon. 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. The applications may be viewed on the NMFS website at https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/ previewopenforcomment.cfm.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued Permit 1606 to Mr. Zachary Larson in Crescent City, California.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received an application from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for a direct take permit pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The duration of the proposed permit is ten years. This document serves to notify the public of the availability for comment of the permit application. All comments received will become part of the public record and will be available for review pursuant to the ESA.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gulf Reef Fish Longline Restriction
This emergency rule implements area closures applicable to the bottom longline component of the reef fish fishery in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico, as requested by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council), to reduce incidental take and mortality of sea turtles.
Council Coordination Committee; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) will host a meeting of the Council Coordination Committee (CCC), consisting of the eight Regional Fishery Management Council chairs, vice chairs and executive directors on May 19-22, 2009. The intent of this meeting is to discuss issues of relevance to the Councils, including planning, programming and budgeting; implementation of provisions from the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act (MSRA); and ecosystem-based management; among others.