National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration December 2009 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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National Estuarine Research Reserve System
The Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce has approved the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan Revision.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 31
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) for review, approval, and
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces that the State of Maine is transferring a portion of its 2009 commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery; Amendment 16
NMFS proposes regulations to implement measures in Amendment 16 to the NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Amendment 16 was developed by the New England Fishery Management Council (Council) as part of the biennial adjustment process in the FMP to update status determination criteria for all regulated NE multispecies or ocean pout stocks; to adopt rebuilding programs for NE multispecies stocks newly classified as being overfished and subject to overfishing; and to revise management measures, including significant revisions to the Sector management measures, necessary to end overfishing, rebuild overfished regulated NE multispecies and ocean pout stocks, and mitigate the adverse economic impacts of increased effort controls. Amendment 16 would also implement new requirements for establishing acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limits (ACLs), and accountability measures (AMs) for each stock managed under the FMP, pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Finally, this action would add Atlantic wolffish to the list of species managed by the FMP. This action is
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received seven scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon. The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation efforts. The applications may be viewed online at: https:/ /apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/previewopenforcomment.cfm.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Pilot Economic 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.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings and Hearings
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has begun its annual preseason management process for the 2010 ocean salmon fisheries. This document announces the availability of Council documents as well as the dates and locations of Council meetings and public hearings comprising the Council(s complete schedule of events for determining the annual proposed and final modifications to ocean salmon fishery management measures. The agendas for the March and April 2010 Council meetings will be published in subsequent Federal Register documents prior to the actual meetings.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS has determined that the Atlantic tunas General category daily Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) retention limit should be adjusted for the month of January 2010, based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments. This action applies to Atlantic Tunas General category permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when fishing commercially for BFT).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2010 Gulf of Alaska Pollock and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts
NMFS is adjusting the 2010 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) pollock and Pacific cod fisheries. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are incorrectly specified, and will ensure the GOA pollock and Pacific cod TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific information for pollock and Pacific cod in the GOA. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP).
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States
NMFS is modifying the fishing vessel permit regulations to include specific terms and conditions for Federal fishing vessel permits obtained through the purchase of fishing vessels using Federal grant awards. The terms and conditions authorize the NMFS Administrator, Northeast Region (Regional Administrator), to suspend, cancel, fail to renew, modify, or otherwise rescind any Federal fishing vessel permit, or the rights thereto, if the terms and conditions of any Federal grant award used to obtain said permit, or an associated memorandum of understanding or agreement, are violated by the grant recipient.
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
This notice advises the public that the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will have public workshops to discuss fishery management issues, including catch shares and annual catch limits.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene joint meetings of the Standing, Special Shrimp, Special Spiny Lobster and Special Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committees.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a public meeting of the Shrimp Advisory Panel.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a web based meeting of the Socioeconomic Panel.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a joint public meeting of its Red Crab Plan Development Team and Advisory Panel in January, 2010 to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this joint group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2010 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amount
NMFS is adjusting the 2010 total allowable catch (TAC) amount for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Pacific cod fishery. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined this TAC is incorrectly specified. This action will ensure the BSAI Pacific cod TAC does not exceed the appropriate amount based on the best available scientific information for Pacific cod in the BSAI. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2010 Bering Sea Pollock Total Allowable Catch Amount
NMFS is adjusting the 2010 total allowable catch (TAC) amount for the Bering Sea pollock fishery. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined this TAC is incorrectly specified. This action will ensure the Bering Sea pollock TAC does not exceed the appropriate amount based on the best available scientific information for pollock in the Bering Sea subarea. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP).
Council Coordination Committee Meeting
NMFS will host a meeting of the Council Coordination Committee (CCC), consisting of the Regional Fishery Management Council chairs, vice chairs, and executive directors in January 2010. The intent of this meeting is to discuss issues of relevance to the Councils, including FY 2010 budget allocations and budgetary planning, the Ocean Policy Task Force, Marine Spatial Planning, the draft Catch Shares Task Force Report, and implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Skate Complex Fishery; Amendment 3 to the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan
NMFS announces that the New England Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 3 to the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (Amendment 3), incorporating a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), for review by the Secretary of Commerce. NMFS is requesting comments from the public on Amendment 3, which was developed by the Council to rebuild overfished skate stocks and implement annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) consistent with the requirements of the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Amendment 3 would implement a rebuilding plan for smooth skate and establish an ACL and annual catch target (ACT) for the skate complex, total allowable landings (TAL) for the skate wing and bait fisheries, seasonal quotas for the bait fishery, reduced possession limits, in- season possession limit triggers, and other measures to improve management.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery
On May 8, 2008, the New England Fishery Management Council (Council), in cooperation with NMFS, announced its intent to prepare an EIS for Amendment 4 to the Atlantic Herring FMP to analyze the impacts of proposed management measures, which included measures to bring the FMP into compliance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) requirements to specify annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs). NMFS hereby notifies the public that only the ACL/AM components will move forward as Amendment 4, and that the Council intends to prepare an EA for the action. All other proposed measures formerly included in Amendment 4, including the catch monitoring program for the herring
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Habitat/MPA/Ecosystem Committee, in January, 2010, to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team (CPSMT) will hold a meeting that is open to the public.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a working meeting, which is open to the public.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Scoping Meetings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene Scoping Meetings on proposed Amendment 32, dealing primarily with gag and red grouper.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
A joint meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) and its Black Sea Bass (BSB) Monitoring Committee will be held as a public meeting via Webinar. Immediately following completion of the joint SSC / BSB Monitoring Committee meeting, the SSC will be convened separately to conduct its deliberations independent of the Monitoring Committee.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Season and Retention Limit Adjustments
On November 4, 2009, NMFS published a proposed rule to increase the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) General category maximum daily retention limit; allow the General category season to remain open until the January subquota is reached; and increase the Harpoon category daily incidental retention limit. The proposed rule is intended to more thoroughly utilize available U.S. BFT quota, particularly for the General and Harpoon (commercial handgear) categories. In the proposed rule, NMFS announced the end of the comment period as December 21, 2009, which would allow an approximately 45-day comment period. In order to provide additional opportunities for the public and other interested parties to comment on the proposed rule, NMFS is extending the comment period for this action until March 31, 2010. Comments received by NMFS on the proposed rule will help NMFS determine whether and how to implement final management measures for the BFT General and Harpoon categories as described in the proposed action.
Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Bigeye Tuna Longline Fishery Closure
NMFS is closing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean as a result of the fishery reaching the 2009 catch limit.
Federal Consistency Appeal by Chicago Deer River Properties, LLC, d/b/a Theodore Industrial Port
This announcement provides notice that Chicago Deer River Properties, LLC, d/b/a Theodore Industrial Port (Theodore Industrial Port), has filed an administrative appeal with the Department of Commerce (Department), asking that the Secretary override an objection by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (Alabama) to the proposed filling of a tidal pond at Theodore Industrial Port facilities in Theodore, Alabama, near Mobile Bay.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Closure
NMFS is prohibiting the incidental harvest of Pacific sardine off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. This action is necessary because the incidental set aside for the third allocation period of the 2009 Pacific sardine season has been reached. From the effective date of this rule until January 1, 2010, Pacific sardine can only be harvested as part of the live bait fishery.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; 2010 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications; Preliminary 2010 Quota Adjustments; 2010 Summer Flounder Quota for Delaware
NMFS issues final specifications for the 2010 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries. This final rule specifies allowed harvest limits for both commercial and recreational fisheries, including commercial scup possession limits. This action prohibits Federally permitted commercial vessels from landing summer flounder in Delaware in 2010 due to continued quota repayment from previous years' overages.
Fisheries of the Pacific Region; Mid-Atlantic Region, Gulf of Mexico Region
This action serves as a notice that NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), has determined that in the Pacific Region, the canary rockfish stock, as well as the Queets coho stock and the Western Straights of Juan de Fuca coho stocks, have been determined to be in an overfished condition. In addition, the Gulf of Mexico stock of gag grouper has been determined to be in an overfished condition. Finally, the Mid-Atlantic stock of black sea bass was found to be experiencing overfishing in 2007. However, since this determination, an updated assessment using 2008 data has been completed and NMFS has determined that overfishing is no longer occuring.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; 2010 Sector Operations Plans and Contracts, and Allocation of Northeast Multispecies Annual Catch Entitlements
Amendment 13 to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) established a process for the formation of sectors and for annual NMFS Northeast Regional Administrator approval of proposed sector operations. Proposed Amendment 16, currently under NMFS review, with an expected implementation date of May 1, 2010, if approved, would significantly revise sector allocation management measures and expand sector management by authorizing up to 19 sectors for fishing year (FY) 2010.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold three public hearings to solicit comment on Draft Amendment 4 and a Draft Environmental Assessment to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP).
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council's (Council) Herring Committee will meet to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council's (Council) Interspecies Committee will meet to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Public Meeting and Public Comment
Notice is hereby given of a public meeting of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. The meeting will be held in Washington, DC. This meeting, the 23rd bi-annual meeting of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, provides a forum for coordinated planning and action among Federal agencies, State and territorial governments, and nongovernmental partners. Please register in advance by visiting the Web site listed below. This meeting has time allotted for public comment. All public comment must be submitted in written format. A written summary of the meeting will be posted on the Web site within two months of its occurrence.
Guidelines for the Marine Debris Program Grant Program
The NOAA Marine Debris Division, Office of Response and Restoration, National Ocean Service, is issuing guidelines to implement the Marine Debris Program (MDP) grant program. The MDP was created by the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act (33 U.S.C. 1951 et seq.) to coordinate, strengthen, and enhance the awareness of marine debris efforts within the agency, and to work with external partners to support research, prevention, and reduction activities related to the issue of marine debris. The NOAA MDP mission is to investigate and solve the problems that stem from marine debris through research, prevention, and reduction activities, in order to protect and conserve our nation's living marine resources and ensure navigation safety. Within the Act, the MDP is directed to develop formal guidelines for the implementation of a grant program. This notice identifies those guidelines.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Antioch Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project, California
NMFS has received an application from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to the Antioch Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to Caltrans to incidentally harass, by Level B Harassment only, 10 harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and 10 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) during the specified activity.
Habitat Conservation Plan for the Santa Clara Valley Water District's Operations and Maintenance Activities in the Coyote Creek, Guadalupe River, and Stevens Creek Watersheds, Santa Clara County, California
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), NMFS is issuing a revised notice to advise the public of our intent, in coordination with the Santa Clara Valley Water District (District), to conduct public scoping necessary to gather information to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/ EIR). The EIS/EIR will analyze the environmental effects of the proposed issuance of 50-year incidental take permits under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, (ESA), for a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) within a portion of the Coyote Creek, Guadalupe River, and Stevens Creek watersheds (Three Creeks) and proposed modifications of the District's appropriative water rights by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to settle litigation against the District concerning alleged impacts of its operations on fish, wildlife, water quality and other beneficial uses. The first NOI to prepare an EIS/EIR was published in the Federal Register on August 4, 2005, but since that time changes to the scope of the proposed action have occurred. NMFS provides this notice to (1) describe revisions to the proposed action; (2) describe Federal lead and cooperating agency roles; (3) update other Federal and State agencies and the public of the revised scope of the environmental review for this EIS/EIR; and (4) obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues and alternatives to be included in the EIS/EIR.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska, Steller Sea Lions; Correction
This action makes a correction to regulations at 50 CFR part 679. It corrects a final rule that erroneously removed regulations in 50 CFR part 679 concerning the harvest limit area for Atka mackerel in the Aleutian Islands. NMFS intended this final rule to modify regulations detailing management of Atka mackerel total allowable catch. However, due to incorrect instructions in the regulatory text, NMFS inadvertently removed the regulations governing Atka mackerel management in the harvest limitation area. This correcting amendment reinstates those regulations.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West The Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Pacific Whiting Allocation; Pacific Whiting Seasons
This document announces the reapportionment of 1,325 mt of Pacific whiting from the shore-based sector to the catcher/processor sector.
Endangered Species; File No. 14506
Notice is hereby given that Llewellyn Ehrhart, University of Central Florida, P.O. Box 162368, Orlando, Florida 32816, has applied in due form for a permit to take green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North and South Atlantic Swordfish Quotas
This final rule adjusts the North and South Atlantic swordfish quotas for the 2009 fishing year (January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2009) to account for underharvests, and transfers 18.8 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) to Canada per the 2006 and 2008 International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recommendations 06-03 and 08-02. In addition, this final rule includes minor regulatory modifications and clarifications, eliminates an existing sunset provision in the Madison-Swanson and Steamboat Lumps time/area closure, and establishes a small time/area closure in the Gulf of Mexico called the ``Edges 40 Fathom Contour.'' These changes could impact fishermen with a commercial swordfish, HMS Angling, or Charter/Headboat (CHB) permit who fish for Atlantic swordfish.
Establishment of a Recreational Fisheries Working Group by the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee
Nominations are being solicited for appointment to a new Recreational Fisheries Working Group of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) beginning in January 2010. MAFAC is the only Federal advisory committee with the responsibility to advise the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) on all matters concerning living marine resources that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. MAFAC is establishing a Recreational Fisheries Working Group (RFWG) to assist it in the development of recommendations to the Secretary on regulations, policies and programs critical to the mission and goals of the NMFS. The RFWG shall be composed of people with a specific interest and qualification related to NOAA's recreation-related activities. The members will be appointed by MAFAC in consultation with NOAA and will serve for an initial term of one year, with the potential for reappointment. Nominees should possess demonstrable expertise in the science, management or business of recreational fishing, a well- informed background in recreational fisheries issues, and an operational knowledge of federal agencies and interactions with the Fishery Management Councils and/or regional and state partners, and be able to fulfill the time commitments required for two annual meetings.
Marine Mammals; File No. 14301
Notice is hereby given that the University of Alaska Museum of the North, 907 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6960 (Dr. Link E. Olson, Responsible Party), has applied in due form for a permit to collect, acquire, import and export various marine mammal and endangered species specimens, including partial and whole carcasses from species of marine mammals under the jurisdiction of NMFS for the purpose of curating samples for future scientific research.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; National Standard 2-Scientific Information
NMFS proposes revisions to the guidelines for National Standard 2 (NS2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) regarding scientific information. This action is necessary to provide guidance on the use of best scientific information available (BSIA) for the effective conservation and management of the nation's marine living resources. NMFS proposes to modify the existing NS2 guidelines on BSIA and establish new guidelines for scientific peer review to ensure the reliability, credibility, and integrity of the scientific information used in fishery conservation and management measures. Further, NMFS is proposing to add language to the guidelines regarding the role of the Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSCs) of the Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils), and the relationship of SSCs to the peer review process. The proposed NS2 guidelines will also clarify the content and purpose of the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Report and related documents. These actions are necessary to ensure the use of BSIA in the development of fishery management plans and plan amendments, as required by NS2 of the MSA. The intended effect of these actions is to ensure that scientific information, including its collection and analysis, has been validated through formal peer review or other appropriate review, is transparent, and is used appropriately by SSCs, Councils, and NMFS in the conservation and management of marine fisheries. These guidelines are designed to provide quality standards for the collection and provision of biological, ecological, economic, and sociological information to fishery managers, Councils, and the public, while recognizing regional differences in fisheries and their management.
Marine Mammals; File No. 14535
Notice is hereby given that Colleen Reichmuth, Ph.D., University of California at Santa Cruz, Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA has been issued a permit to conduct research on captive pinnipeds for scientific research.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery Programs
NMFS publishes individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices for the IFQ cost recovery program in the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific. This action is intended to provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2009 standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2010.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2010 Harvest Specifications and Management Measures for Petrale Sole
This final rule revises the 2010 Optimum Yield and the January-December 2010 management measures for petrale sole taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 29 Supplement
NMFS issues this proposed rule to supplement the regulations implementing Amendment 29 to the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). Amendment 29 established a multi-species individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for the grouper and tilefish component of the commercial sector of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone. This proposed rule would remove several measures constraining harvest of shallow-water grouper species that were inadvertently not removed in the final rule for Amendment 29, further clarify existing criteria for approval of new landing locations for both the red snapper IFQ program and grouper and tilefish IFQ program, and provide a definition of ``offloading'' in the codified text for IFQ participants. This proposed rule also discusses two options considered by the Council. NMFS is seeking comment on one of these options, which would give IFQ fishermen the option to provide a headcount of the fish on board at the time of landing. The intent of this proposed rule is to enhance IFQ program enforcement capabilities, reduce confusion for IFQ participants offloading their fish, and allow for more efficient functioning of the IFQ programs for red snapper and groupers and tilefishes.