Marine Mammals; File No. 774-1714
Notice is hereby given that NMFS, Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) (Jeremy Rusin, Principal Investigator), Protected Resources Division, 8604 La Jolla Shores Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037 has been issued an amendment to scientific research Permit No. 774-1714-09.
Marine Mammals; File No. 984-1587-08
Notice is hereby given that the Dr. Terrie Williams, Department of Biology, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 has been issued an amendment to scientific research Permit No. 984-1587-07.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 16
NMFS issues this final rule to implement the approved measures of 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 final rule establishes a seasonal closure of the recreational and commercial fisheries for gag and associated shallow- water grouper species; establishes a seasonal closure of the recreational fishery for vermilion snapper; reduces the aggregate bag limit for grouper and tilefish; reduces the bag limit for gag or black grouper combined; reduces the bag limit for vermilion snapper; prohibits 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; establishes semiannual quotas for the commercial vermilion snapper fishery; establishes a quota for the commercial gag fishery; establishes restrictions on the possession, sale, and purchase of gag and associated shallow-water grouper species after the gag commercial quota is reached; and requires possession of a dehooking device on board a vessel when fishing for South Atlantic snapper- grouper and use of such device as needed to release fish with a minimum of injury. In addition, Amendment 16, for both gag and vermilion snapper, revises the definitions of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and optimum yield (OY), specifies total allowable catch (TAC), and establishes interim allocations of TACs for the recreational and commercial sectors. Amendment 16 also specifies a minimum stock size threshold (MSST) for gag and, based on the new assessment, for vermilion snapper. The intended effects of this final rule are to end overfishing of gag and vermilion snapper, protect shallow-water grouper during their spawning season, and reduce bycatch mortality of snapper- grouper species in the South Atlantic.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery; Closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area
NMFS announces a temporary closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to limited access NE multispecies days-at-sea (DAS) vessels. Based upon Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) reports and other available information, the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) has projected that the total allowable catch (TAC) of Georges Bank (GB) cod allocated to be harvested from the Eastern U.S./ Canada Area from May 1, 2009, through July 31, 20098, would be harvested on or around June 24, 2009, if current catch rates continue. This action is being taken to prevent the Eastern U.S./Canada Area TAC specified for the first quarter of the 2009 fishing year from being exceeded. This area will be reopened on August 1, 2009, to provide access to the shared U.S./Canada Stocks of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder.
Endangered and Threatened Species: Notice of Availability for Public Comment on Guidance for Monitoring the Recovery of Pacific Northwest Salmon and Steelhead Listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act
The National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS) Northwest Region has drafted guidance on monitoring the recovery of Pacific Northwest salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This draft Pacific Northwest monitoring guidance is intended to assist NMFS' recovery partners in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho in understanding the recovery monitoring needs under the ESA. NMFS' Northwest Region is soliciting public review and comment on the draft Pacific Northwest monitoring guidance.
Endangered Species; File No. 14272
Notice is hereby given that Lawrence Wood, Marinelife Center of Juno Beach, 14200 U.S. Hwy. 1, Juno Beach, FL 33408, has been issued a permit to take 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 Regional Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an application for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) warrants further consideration. The application was submitted by members of the Pacific sardine fishing industry and requests an exemption from commercial quotas in order to conduct a survey to obtain a estimate of the population of Pacific sardine. NMFS requests public comment on the application.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Construction and Operation of Offshore Oil and Gas Facilities in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued a letter of authorization (LOA) to BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. (BPXA) to take marine mammals incidental to the production of offshore oil and gas at the Northstar development in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska.