International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits in Longline Fisheries in 2009, 2010, and 2011
NMFS issues 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 will be prohibited for the remainder of the year, with certain exceptions. The limit will 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.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Components of Fishery Management Plans (Northeast Multispecies, Atlantic Sea Scallop, Monkfish, Atlantic Herring, Skates, Atlantic Salmon, and Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab) 5-year Review
NMFS is reopening the public comment period for the supplemental NOI to prepare an EIS for the Omnibus Habitat Amendment that was published on October 5, 2009. This is necessary because some comments that were submitted via e-mail may not have been delivered properly. This notice reopens the comment period to ensure all interested parties' comments are received and addressed correctly.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Scup Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for 2009 Winter II Period
NMFS announces the closure of the scup commercial coastwide fishery from Maine through North Carolina for the remainder of the Winter II Period. Regulations governing the scup fishery require publication of this notification to advise the coastal states from Maine through North Carolina that this quota has been harvested and to advise Federal vessel permit holders and Federal dealer permit holders that no commercial quota is available for landing scup in these states. Federally permitted commercial vessels may not land scup in these states for the remainder of the 2009 Winter II quota period.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Regional Fishery Management Councils; Operations
NMFS proposes changes to the regulations that address the operations and administration of Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils). The regulatory changes are needed to clarify which Council documents should be available to the public, clarify Council member nomination procedures, clarify financial disclosure requirements for Council members, and revise the security assurance procedures for nominees to and members of the Councils.
Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves
The NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) announces its intent to evaluate the performance of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program. The Coastal Zone Management Program evaluation 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 a Coastal Management Program 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. When the evaluation is completed, OCRM will place a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the Final Evaluation Findings. Notice is hereby given of the date of the site visit for the listed evaluation, and the date, local time, and location of the public meeting during the site visit. Dates and Times: The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program evaluation site visit will be held January 25-29, 2010. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 27, 2010, at 6 p.m. at the Rhode Island Department of Administration, Conference Room A, One Capitol Hill, Providence, Rhode Island.