Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Correction
On November 24, 2009, we, NMFS, announced an extension of the public comment period for the Draft Central Valley Salmon and Steelhead
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Maximum Retainable Amounts for Non-American Fisheries Act Trawl Catcher/Processors
NMFS withdraws the proposed rule to revise accounting regulations for maximum retainable amounts of selected groundfish species caught by trawl catcher/processors that are not eligible under the American Fisheries Act to participate in directed fishing for pollock (February 13, 2009). Thus, the current maximum retainable amounts accounting regulations remain in effect for the following species: yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, ``other flatfish,'' arrowtooth flounder, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area and for Pacific ocean perch in the Aleutian Islands.
International Fisheries Regulations; Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Pelagic Fisheries; Hawaii-based Shallow-set Longline Fishery
This final rule removes the annual limit on the number of fishing gear deployments (sets) for the Hawaii-based pelagic shallow- set longline fishery, and increases the annual number of allowable incidental interactions that occur between the fishery and loggerhead sea turtles. The final rule optimizes yield from the fishery without jeopardizing the continued existence of sea turtles and other protected resources. This final rule also makes several administrative clarifications to the regulations.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico; Southeastern Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR)
SEDAR procedural workshops provide an opportunity for focused discussion and deliberation on topics that arise in multiple
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; Closure of the 2009-2010 Commercial Fishery for Black Sea Bass in the South Atlantic
NMFS closes the commercial fishery for black sea bass in the portion of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic through 35[deg] 15.19' N. lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, North Carolina. NMFS has determined that the quota for the commercial fishery for black sea bass will have been reached by December 20, 2009. This closure is necessary to protect the black sea bass resource.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Rescission of Prohibition on Atlantic Herring Fishing in Management Area 2
NMFS announces rescission of the prohibition on fishing for, catching, possessing, transferring, or landing more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring in or from Atlantic herring Management Area 2 (Area 2). The rescission of this prohibition is due to the fact that catch data indicate that 95 percent of the total allowable catch (TAC) threshold in Area 2 has not been fully attained. Vessels issued a Federal permit to harvest Atlantic herring may resume fishing for and landing herring in amounts greater than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) effective 0001 hours, December 10, 2009, until it is determined that the 95- percent quota threshold is projected to be harvested.
Notification of U.S. Fish Quotas and an Effort Allocation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area
NMFS announces that fish quotas and an effort allocation are available for harvest by U.S. fishermen in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area. This action is necessary to make available to U.S. fishermen a fishing privilege on an equitable basis.
Marine Mammals; File No. 555-1870
Notice is hereby given that James T. Harvey, Ph.D., Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 8272 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039, has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 555-1870-00.
Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops
NMFS announces free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops to be held in January, February, and March of 2010. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be held in 2010 and announced in the Federal Register.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; National Ocean Recreational Expenditure Survey
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
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.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Northeast Region, NMFS (Assistant Regional Administrator), has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration and has made a preliminary determination that the activities authorized under this EFP would be consistent with the goals and objectives of the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). However, further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue an EFP. This EFP would grant exemptions from the Monkfish Day-at-Sea (DAS) Program, as well as exempt vessels from the monkfish minimum size limits for onboard tagging purposes only.
Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Dumbarton Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project, California
SNMFS has received an application from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to retrofitting the Dumbarton Bridge, located in southern San Francisco Bay (Bay), California. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to Caltrans to incidentally harass harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) during the specified activity.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; Red Snapper Closure
This final temporary rule implements interim measures to establish a closure of the commercial and recreational fisheries for red snapper in the South Atlantic as requested by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). The intended effect is to reduce overfishing of red snapper while long-term management measures are developed in Amendment 17A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 17A) to end overfishing of red snapper.
Marine Mammals; File No. 15014
Notice is hereby given that Sea World, Inc., 9205 South Park Circle, Suite 400, Orlando, FL 32819, has applied in due form for a permit to import one pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) for the purposes of public display.
Marine Mammals; File No. 15153
Notice is hereby given that Dolphin Quest Hawaii, 69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa, HI 96738, has applied in due form for a permit to import two bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for the purposes of public display.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2010 Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quota Specifications
NMFS proposes 2010 fishing year specifications for the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) fishery to set BFT quotas for each of the established domestic fishing categories. This action is necessary to implement recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), as required by the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and to achieve domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). NMFS solicits written comments and will hold public hearings to receive oral comments on these proposed actions.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Proposed 2010 and 2011 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
NMFS proposes 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2010 and 2011 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Endangered and Threatened Species: Designation of Critical Habitat for Cook Inlet Beluga Whale
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), propose to designate critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) distinct population segment under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Two areas are proposed, comprising 7,809 square kilometers (3,016 square miles) of marine habitat. We solicit comments from the public on all aspects of the proposal.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces that the States of Connecticut and Florida are transferring commercial bluefish quota to the State of New York from their 2009 quota. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quotas for New York, Connecticut, and Florida.