Endangered and Threatened Species: 12-Month Finding for a Petition to Revise Critical Habitat for Hawaiian Monk Seal
On July 9, 2008, we (NMFS) received a petition dated July 2, 2008, requesting that we revise the present critical habitat designation for the Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by expanding the current critical habitat in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and by designating additional critical habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. We have reviewed, and here provide a summary of the best available information regarding Hawaiian monk seal biology and habitat use. Based on our review, we intend to revise the monk seal's critical habitat, and we are providing our initial thoughts on the habitat features that are essential to the conservation of this species and describing how we intend to proceed with the requested critical habitat revision.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Essential Fish Habitat
NMFS announces the availability of a final integrated environmental impact statement (EIS) and fishery management plan (FMP) amendment pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that revises existing Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Essential Fish Habitat (EFH); establishes a new Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) for bluefin tuna (BFT) in the Gulf of Mexico; and includes conservation recommendations for fishing and non-fishing impacts on EFH consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and other relevant Federal laws. Approval of the amendment will be concurrent with approval of the Record of Decision and will occur following the 30-day waiting period on the FEIS.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting/Workshop
Three Groundfish Stock Assessment Review (STAR) Panel meetings will be held to review new assessments for groundfish species. The first STAR Panel meeting will review new assessments for bocaccio and widow rockfish. The second STAR Panel meeting will review new assessments for lingcod and cabezon. The third STAR Panel meeting will review new assessments for yelloweye and greenstriped rockfish. All three STAR Panel meetings are work sessions which are open to the public.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Salmon Technical Team (STT) will hold a meeting to initiate planning and make assignments for developing an overfishing review for Queets River and Strait of Juan de Fuca natural coho. STT meeting to be held June 30, 2009 to plan development of an assessment of the causes and implications of Queets River and Strait of Juan de Fuca natural coho stocks failing to meet their conservation objective for three consecutive years. This meeting of the STT is open to the public.