Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)-Fall Meeting
In preparation for the 2010 International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) meeting, the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to ICCAT is announcing the convening of its fall meeting.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Designating Critical Habitat for the Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), announce our 90-day finding and 12-month determination on how to proceed with a petition to revise critical habitat for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The petition seeks to revise the existing critical habitat designation by expanding the areas designated as critical feeding and calving habitat areas for the North Atlantic right whale. Additionally, the petition seeks to include a migratory corridor as part of the critical habitat designation for the North Atlantic right whale. Our 90-day finding is that the petition, in conjunction with the information readily available in our files, presents substantial scientific information indicating that the requested revision may be warranted. Our 12-month determination on how to proceed with the petition is that we intend to continue our ongoing rulemaking process with the expectation that a proposed critical habitat rule for the North Atlantic right whale will be submitted to the Federal Register for publication in the second half of 2011.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Modified Nonpelagic Trawl Gear and Habitat Conservation in the Bering Sea Subarea
NMFS hereby issues a final rule that implements Amendment 94 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). Amendment 94 requires participants using nonpelagic trawl gear in the directed fishery for flatfish in the Bering Sea subarea to modify the trawl gear to raise portions of the gear off the ocean bottom. Amendment 94 also changes the boundaries of the Northern Bering Sea Research Area to establish the Modified Gear Trawl Zone (MGTZ) and to expand the Saint Matthew Island Habitat Conservation Area. Nonpelagic trawl gear also is required to be modified to raise portions of the gear off the ocean bottom if used in any directed fishery for groundfish in the MGTZ. This action is necessary to reduce potential adverse effects of nonpelagic trawl gear on bottom habitat, to protect additional blue king crab habitat near St. Matthew Island, and to allow for efficient flatfish harvest as the distribution of flatfish in the Bering Sea changes. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Skate Management in the Groundfish Fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Groundfish Annual Catch Limits for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area and Gulf of Alaska
NMFS issues a final rule to implement Amendments 95 and 96 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) and Amendment 87 to the FMP for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), (collectively referred to as ``the FMPs''). Amendment 95 moves skates from the ``other species'' category to the ``target species'' category in the FMP. Amendments 96 and 87 revise the FMPs to meet the National Standard 1 guidelines for annual catch limits and accountability measures. These amendments move all remaining species groups from the ``other species'' category to the ``target species'' category, remove the ``other species'' and ``non- specified species'' categories from the FMPs, establish an ``ecosystem component'' category, and describe the current practices for groundfish fisheries management in the FMPs, as required by the guidelines. The final rule removes references to the ``other species'' category for purposes of the harvest specifications and adds skate species to the reporting codes for the BSAI groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMPs, and other applicable laws.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS issues an inseason adjustment prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) 36 hours after opening directed fishing for pollock, effective 2400 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 2, 2010. This adjustment is necessary to manage the pollock total allowable catch limit in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.
Federal Consistency Appeal by Pan American Grain Co.
This announcement provides notice that the decision record for an administrative appeal filed with the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) by Pan American Grain Co. (Pan American) has closed. No additional information, briefs, or comments (not previously submitted and made part of the decision record prior to closure) will be considered by the Secretary in deciding the appeal.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
The SEDAR assessment of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico stock of goliath grouper consists of a Data Workshop, an Assessment Workshop, and a Review Workshop. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel (AP) in North Charleston, SC. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Listings for Two Distinct Population Segments of Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) in the Southeast
In 2007, a Status Review Team (SRT) consisting of Federal biologists from NMFS, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) completed a status review report on Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) in the United States. We, NMFS, have reviewed this status review report and all other best available information to determine if listing Atlantic sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as either threatened or endangered is warranted. The SRT recommended that Atlantic sturgeon in the United States be divided into the following five distinct population segments (DPSs): Gulf of Maine; New York Bight; Chesapeake Bay; Carolina; and South Atlantic, and we agree with this DPS structure. After reviewing the available information on the Carolina and South Atlantic DPSs, the two DPSs located within the NMFS Southeast Region, we have determined that listing these two DPSs as endangered is warranted. Therefore, we propose to list these two DPSs as endangered under the ESA. We have published a separate listing determination for the DPSs within the NMFS Northeast Region in today's Federal Register.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Listing Determinations for Three Distinct Population Segments of Atlantic Sturgeon in the Northeast Region
We, NMFS, have completed an Endangered Species Act (ESA) status review for Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus). Based on the status review report (ASSRT, 2007), and other information available since completion of the status review report, we have determined that the species is comprised of five distinct population segments (DPSs) that qualify as species under the ESA: Gulf of Maine (GOM); New York Bight (NYB); Chesapeake Bay (CB); Carolina; and South Atlantic. We have also determined that, for those DPSs that are located within the jurisdiction of NMFS' Northeast Region, listing as threatened is warranted for the GOM DPS, and listing as endangered is warranted for the NYB DPS and CB DPS. A separate proposed listing determination is issued for the two DPSs within NMFS' Southeast Region in today's Federal Register.