International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits in Longline Fisheries in 2009, 2010, and 2011
NMFS proposes regulations under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act) to establish a catch limit for bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) in the U.S. pelagic longline fisheries in the western and central Pacific Ocean for each of the years 2009, 2010, and 2011. Once the limit of 3,763 metric tons (mt) is reached in any of those years, retaining, transshipping, or landing bigeye tuna caught in the western and central Pacific Ocean would be prohibited for the remainder of the year, with certain exceptions. The limit would not apply to the longline fisheries of American Samoa, Guam, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). This action is necessary for the United States to satisfy its international obligations under the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention), to which it is a Contracting Party.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals: Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Harbor Activities Related to the Delta IV/Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
NMFS has received an application from United Launch Alliance (ULA) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting Delta Mariner operations, cargo unloading activities, harbor maintenance dredging, and kelp habitat mitigation activities related to the Delta IV/Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (Delta IV/EELV) at south Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA (VAFB). Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS requests comments on its proposal to authorize ULA to take, by Level B harassment only, small numbers of two species of pinnipeds at south VAFB beginning August, 2009.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Commercial Sector of the Reef Fish, Queen Conch, and Spiny Lobster Fisheries of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Control Date
NMFS announces that it is establishing a control date that may be used to control future access to the commercial sector of the reef fish, queen conch, and spiny lobster fisheries operating in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the U.S. Caribbean. If changes to the management regime are developed and implemented under the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), a control date could be used to limit the number of participants in these fisheries. This announcement is intended, in part, to promote awareness of the potential eligibility criteria for future access so as to discourage speculative entry into the fisheries while the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS consider whether and how access to the commercial sector of the reef fish, queen conch, or spiny lobster fishery should be controlled.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Secretarial Final Interim Action
This action modifies interim management measures implemented for the Northeast (NE) multispecies fishery through a previous interim final rule, and corrects several errors. Specifically, this rule removes the current trip limit for Georges Bank (GB) winter flounder and increases the white hake trip limit, reinstates regulatory provisions of the NE Multispecies Day-at-Sea (DAS) Leasing Program and the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program (SAP) that were inadvertently removed, and corrects several Total Allowable Catch (TAC) specifications, and latitude/longitude coordinates.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2009 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.