Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Special Subsistence Permits and Harvest Logs for Pacific Halibut in Waters Off Alaska
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.
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, 2011, 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.
Shipping Act, Merchant Marine, and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) Provisions; Fishing Vessel, Fishing Facility and Individual Fishing Quota Lending Program
NMFS issues these regulations pursuant to its authority under Chapter 537 of the Shipping Act, (formerly known as Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as amended and codified), as well as the Magnuson-Stevens Act. These regulations revise the operating rules of the Fisheries Finance Program (FFP or Program) and set forth procedures, eligibility criteria, loan terms, and other requirements related to FFP lending to the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries. FFP assistance includes loans for fishing vessels, fish processing facilities, aquaculture facilities, individual fishing quota (IFQ) permits, and participants in community development quota (CDQ) programs.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) has rescheduled a public hearing to solicit comments on proposals to be included in the Draft Amendment 6 to the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP).
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Whiting Advisory Panel in January, 2011 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.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Skate Committee in January, 2011 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.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Assessment Process Webinar for Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fisheries Sandbar, Dusky, and Blacknose Sharks
The SEDAR 21 assessments of the HMS of sandbar, dusky, and blacknose sharks will consist of a series of workshops and webinars: a Data Workshop, a series of Assessment webinars, and a Review Workshop. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish Retention Standard; Emergency Rule
NMFS is exempting, through this emergency rule, trawl catcher/ processor vessels (C/Ps) that are not specified in regulation as American Fisheries Act (AFA) vessels, referred to throughout this rule as non-AFA trawl C/Ps, and Amendment 80 cooperatives from the groundfish retention standard (GRS) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. The GRS was implemented to increase the retention and utilization of groundfish caught by the non-AFA trawl C/ Ps and to respond to bycatch reduction goals described in National Standard 9. NMFS recently discovered that the regulatory methodology used to calculate compliance with and to enforce the GRS percentages established for 2010 and 2011 effectively require the sector to meet GRS well above that considered by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council or that implemented by NMFS. As a result, the retention requirements are expected to impose significantly higher costs due to the increased level of retention and to generate an unanticipated level of noncompliance in the Amendment 80 fleet. Further, monitoring and enforcement of the GRS has proven far more complex, challenging, and potentially costly than anticipated by NMFS. This emergency rule is necessary to exempt non-AFA trawl C/Ps and Amendment 80 cooperatives from the regulatory provisions of the GRS program before the end of the 2010 fishing season and prior to the start of the 2011 fishing season. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and other applicable law.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Columbia River Crossing Project, Washington and Oregon
NMFS has received a request from the Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Authority (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), on behalf of the Columbia River Crossing project (CRC), for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to bridge construction and demolition activities at the Columbia River and North Portland Harbor, Washington and Oregon, over the course of five years; approximately July 2013 through June 2018. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of CRC's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on CRC's application and request.
Endangered Species; File No. 14400
Notice is hereby given that Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 [Responsible Party: Daniel Richards] has been issued a permit to take black abalone for purposes of scientific research and enhancement.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received applications for scientific research from Thomas R. Payne and Associates (TRPA) in Arcata, CA (15542), the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District (GCID) in Willows, CA (15573), the University of California at Davis (UC-Davis) in Davis, CA (15926), and Natural Resource Scientists, Incorporated (NRSI) in Red Bluff, CA (16083). These permits would affect the Federally endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon and the threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs), the Federally threatened Central Valley steelhead Distinct Population Segment (DPS), and the Federally threatened southern DPS of North American green sturgeon (southern DPS green sturgeon). This document serves to notify the public of the availability of the permit applications for review and comment.
Science Advisory Board; Notice of Public Meeting
This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the NOAA Science Advisory Board. The members will discuss and provide advice on issues outlined in the agenda below.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Amendments 20 and 21; Trawl Rationalization Program
NMFS is implementing Amendments 20 and 21 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), which were partially approved by the Secretary on August 9, 2010. Amendment 20 establishes a trawl rationalization program for the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery. Amendment 20's trawl rationalization program consists of: An individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for the shorebased trawl fleet (including whiting and non-whiting sectors); and cooperative (coop) programs for the at-sea (whiting only) mothership and catcher/processor trawl fleets. Amendment 21 establishes fixed allocations for limited entry trawl participants. This final rule supplements the final rule published on October 1, 2010 (75 FR 60868), and provides additional program details, including: Program components applicable to IFQ gear switching, observer programs, retention requirements, equipment requirements, catch monitors, catch weighing requirements, coop permits, coop agreement requirements, first receiver site licenses, quota share (QS) accounts, vessel accounts, further tracking and monitoring components, and economic data collection requirements.
Endangered and Threatened Species; 90-Day Finding on Petitions To Delist the Eastern Distinct Population Segment of the Steller Sea Lion
We (NMFS) announce a 90-day finding on two petitions to delist the eastern Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We find that the petitions present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. We are continuing our status review of this DPS to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are again soliciting scientific and commercial information regarding this species from any interested party.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Steller Sea Lion Protection Measures for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries Off Alaska
NMFS issues an interim final rule to implement Steller sea lion protection measures to insure that the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) groundfish fisheries off Alaska are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the western distinct population segment (DPS) of Steller sea lions or adversely modify its designated critical habitat. These management measures will disperse fishing effort over time and area to provide protection from potential competition for important Steller sea lion prey species in waters adjacent to rookeries and important haulouts in the BSAI. The intended effect of this interim final rule is to protect the endangered western DPS of Steller sea lions, as required under the Endangered Species Act, and to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Notice is hereby given that the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC), 301 Railway Avenue, Seward, AK 99664 (Dr. Ian Dutton, Responsible Party), has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 14334.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Final Rulemaking To Establish Take Prohibitions for the Threatened Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American Green Sturgeon; Permit and Reporting Requirements
NMFS announces the approval of collection-of-information requirements contained in protective regulations established under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the threatened Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris; hereafter, Southern DPS). The intent of this final rule is to inform the public of the permitting and reporting requirements.
Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Construction of the East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
NMFS has received a request from the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) for renewal of an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take small numbers of California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and gray whales, by harassment, incidental to construction of a replacement bridge for the East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SF-OBB) in 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, by Level B Harassment only, four species of marine mammals during the specified activity.
Notice Requesting Nominations for the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee
The Department of Commerce is seeking nominations for membership on the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee). The Advisory Committee was established to advise the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior in implementing Section 4 of Executive Order 13158, specifically on strategies and priorities for developing the national system of marine protected areas (MPAs) and on practical approaches to further enhance and expand protection of new and existing MPAs. Nominations are sought for highly qualified non-Federal scientists, resource managers, and people representing other interests or organizations involved with or affected by marine conservation including in the Great Lakes. Six members of the Committee have terms that expire October 31, 2011, and nominations are sought to fill these vacancies. Individuals seeking membership on the Advisory Committee should possess demonstrable expertise in a related field or represent a stakeholder interest affected by MPAs. Nominees also will be evaluated based on the following factors: marine policy experience, leadership and organization skills, region of country represented, and diversity characteristics. The membership reflects the Department's commitment to attaining balance and diversity. The full text of the Advisory Committee Charter and its current membership can be viewed at the Agency's Web page at http://mpa.gov.
Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council and Extension of Application Deadline
The ONMS is seeking applications for the following vacant seats on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Honolulu County (primary only), Research (alternate only), Commercial Shipping, Whale Watching, Ocean Recreation, Business/ Commerce, Citizen-at-Large, Conservation, Tourism, Lanai Island Representative, and Molokai Island Representative. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve two-year terms, pursuant to the council's charter.
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 2010 standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2011.
Marine Mammals; File No. 15415
Notice is hereby given that Scott D. Kraus, PhD, New England Aquarium Edgerton Research Laboratory, Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis).
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2010 commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Virginia. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Threatened Status for Subspecies of the Ringed Seal
We, NMFS, have completed a comprehensive status review of the ringed seal (Phoca hispida) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the ringed seal as a threatened or endangered species. Based on consideration of information presented in the status review report, an assessment of the factors in the ESA, and efforts being made to protect the species, we have determined the Arctic (Phoca hispida hispida), Okhotsk (Phoca hispida ochotensis), Baltic (Phoca hispida botnica), and Ladoga (Phoca hispida ladogensis) subspecies of the ringed seal are likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of their range in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, we issue a proposed rule to list these subspecies of the ringed seal as threatened species, and we solicit comments on this proposed action. At this time, we do not propose to designate critical habitat for the Arctic ringed seal because it is not currently determinable. In order to complete the critical habitat designation process, we also solicit information on essential physical and biological features of Arctic ringed seal habitat.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Threatened and Not Warranted Status for Subspecies and Distinct Population Segments of the Bearded Seal
We, NMFS, have completed a comprehensive status review of the bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the bearded seal as a threatened or endangered species. The bearded seal exists as two subspecies: Erignathus barbatus nauticus and Erignathus barbatus barbatus. Based on the findings from the status review report and consideration of the factors affecting these subspecies, we conclude that E. b. nauticus consists of two distinct population segments (DPSs), the Beringia DPS and the Okhotsk DPS. Moreover, based on consideration of information presented in the status review report, an assessment of the factors in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA, and efforts being made to protect the species, we have determined the Beringia DPS and the Okhotsk DPS are likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of their ranges in the foreseeable future. We have also determined that E. b. barbatus is not in danger of extinction or likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, we are now issuing a proposed rule to list the Beringia DPS and the Okhotsk DPS of the bearded seal as threatened species. No listing action is proposed for E. b. barbatus. We solicit comments on this proposed action. At this time, we do not propose to designate critical habitat for the Beringia DPS because it is not currently determinable. In order to complete the critical habitat designation process, we solicit information on the essential physical and biological features of bearded seal habitat for the Beringia DPS.
Endangered Species; File Nos. 13307, 13544, and 14586
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued a permit and two permit modifications to take sea turtles and marine mammals for purposes of scientific research.
Marine Mammals; File No. 15750
Notice is hereby given that ABR, Inc. Environmental Research and Services, Fairbanks, AK, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on marine mammals.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings
The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) will hold public hearings to solicit comments on proposals to be included in the Draft Amendment 6 to the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The purpose of Amendment 6 is to consider one or more catch share management approaches for the monkfish fishery, including, but not limited to, Individual Fishery Quotas (IFQs), sectors and/or community quotas. The NEFMC is initiating a public process to determine the scope of issues and range of alternatives to be addressed in Amendment 6 and its environmental impact statement (EIS).
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Emergency Rule To Delay Effectiveness of the Snapper-Grouper Area Closure
NMFS issues this temporary rule to delay the effective date of the area closure for snapper-grouper specified in Amendment 17A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The area closure will become effective on January 3, 2011, through the final rule that implements Amendment 17A. A Southeast Data Assessment and Review (SEDAR) benchmark stock assessment for red snapper (SEDAR 24) was just completed on October 25, 2010, and was reviewed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council's) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) during its meeting from November 9-11, 2010. The new stock assessment still shows red snapper to be overfished and undergoing overfishing, however, the rate of overfishing found in SEDAR 24 is less than the rate of overfishing found in the previous stock assessment (SEDAR 15). The SSC concluded that, based on SEDAR 24, the snapper-grouper area closure approved in Amendment 17A is more conservative that what is needed to end overfishing of red snapper. Temporarily delaying the effective date of the snapper-grouper area closure specified in Amendment 17A will allow the Council time to respond to the new stock assessment information through a regulatory amendment, which will be discussed at the Council's December meeting. This emergency action is necessary to mitigate negative socioeconomic impacts associated with the snapper- grouper area closure on South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishermen and to ensure the area closure is based upon the best scientific information available.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 17A
NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 17A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule establishes an annual catch limit (ACL) of zero for red snapper, which means all harvest and possession of red snapper in or from the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is prohibited, and for a vessel with a Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper, harvest and possession of red snapper is prohibited in or from State or Federal waters. This rule also implements an area closure for South Atlantic snapper-grouper that extends from southern Georgia to northern Florida where harvest and possession of all snapper-grouper species is prohibited (except when fishing with black sea bass pots or spearfishing gear for species other than red snapper), and requires the use of non-stainless steel circle hooks when fishing for snapper-grouper species with hook and line gear north of 28[deg] N. latitude in the South Atlantic EEZ. Additionally, Amendment 17A establishes a rebuilding plan for red snapper and requires a monitoring program as the accountability measure (AM) for red snapper. The intended effects of this rule are to end overfishing of South Atlantic red snapper and rebuild the stock.
On November 9, 2010, NMFS published a Notice of Receipt that the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC, Dr. M. Bradley Hanson, Principal Investigator), 2725 Montlake Blvd. East, Seattle, Washington 98112-2097, had applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 781-1824-01. Public comments were due by December 09, 2010. NMFS has extended the comment period to allow additional time for submission of public comments on this action.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received two scientific research permit application requests relating to salmonids listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of the species and to help guide management and conservation efforts.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam (Surfclam) and Ocean Quahog Fishery
NMFS withdraws the proposed rule published on June 30, 2010, which proposed to open a portion of the Georges Bank (GB) Closed Area to the harvest of surfclams and ocean quahogs. The previously published proposed rule will not be issued as a final rule and will not become effective or enforceable. The current GB Closed Area remains in effect.
Notice is hereby given that Dr. Terrie Williams, Long Marine Lab, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California at Santa Cruz, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, has requested a change to the application for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 13602.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Extension of Emergency Fishery Closure Due to the Presence of the Toxin That Causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
This temporary rule extends a closure of Federal waters. The FDA has determined that oceanographic conditions and alga sampling data suggest that the northern section of the Temporary Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) Closure Area remain closed to the harvest of bivalve molluscan shellfish, with the exception of sea scallop adductor muscles harvested and shucked at sea, and that the southern area remain closed to the harvest of whole or roe-on scallops. The regulations contained in the temporary rule, emergency action, first published in 2005, and have been subsequently extended several times at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). NMFS is publishing the regulatory text associated with this closure in this temporary emergency rule in order to ensure that current regulations accurately reflect the codified text that has been modified and extended numerous times, so that the public is aware of the regulations being extended.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Emergency Fisheries Closure in the Gulf of Mexico Due to the Deepwater Horizon MC252 Oil Spill; Amendment 4
NMFS issues this temporary emergency rule to prohibit royal red shrimp fishing in a specific area of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in response to a fishery interaction of the Gulf shrimp fishery with sub-surface oil byproducts from the Deepwater Horizon MC252 oil spill. This temporary emergency rule supersedes the temporary emergency rule published December 1, 2010 (75 FR 74648) and will remain in effect for 60 days. The intended effect of this temporary emergency rule is to assure seafood safety and consumer confidence in Gulf seafood.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Proposed 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
NMFS proposes 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch (PSC) 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 2011 and 2012 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.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2011 Commercial Fishing Season and Adaptive Management Measures for the Atlantic Shark Fishery
This final rule establishes opening dates and adjusts quotas for the 2011 fishing season for sandbar sharks, non-sandbar large coastal sharks (LCS), blacknose shark, non-blacknose small coastal shark (SCS), blue sharks, porbeagle sharks, and pelagic sharks (other than porbeagle or blue sharks) based on any over- and/or underharvests experienced during the 2009 and 2010 Atlantic commercial shark fishing seasons. NMFS is taking this action to establish the 2011 adjusted fishing quotas and to open the commercial fishing seasons for the Atlantic sandbar shark, non-sandbar LCS, blacknose shark, non-blacknose SCS, and pelagic shark fisheries based on over- and underharvests from the 2009 and 2010 fishing season. This action is expected to affect commercial shark fishermen in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions. In addition to establishing opening dates and adjusting annual quotas, this final rule implements adaptive management measures, including flexible opening dates for the fishing season, as well as inseason adjustments to shark trip limits, to provide flexibility in management in the furtherance of equitable fishing opportunities, to the extent practicable, for commercial shark fishermen in all regions and areas. These actions are expected to affect commercial shark fishermen in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Proposed 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
NMFS proposes 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2011 and 2012 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Amendments to National Marine Sanctuary Regulations Regarding Low Overflights in Designated Zones
NOAA proposes to amend the regulations of the Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, and Olympic Coast national marine sanctuaries relating to sanctuary overflights. Specifically, NOAA proposes to: amend the regulations requiring that motorized aircraft maintain certain minimum altitudes above specified locations within the boundaries of the listed sanctuaries; and state that failure to comply with these altitude limits is presumed to disturb marine mammals or seabirds and is a violation of the sanctuary regulations.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial and Recreational Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #14 and #15
NOAA Fisheries announces two inseason actions in the ocean salmon fisheries. Inseason action 14 modified the commercial fishery in the area from the U.S./Canada Border to Cape Falcon, Oregon. Inseason action 15 modified the commercial and recreational fisheries in the area from U.S./Canada Border to Cape Falcon, Oregon.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial and Recreational Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #12 and #13
NOAA Fisheries announces two inseason actions in the ocean salmon fisheries. Inseason action 12 modified the commercial fishery in the area from the U.S./Canada Border to Cape Falcon, Oregon. Inseason action 13 modified the commercial and recreational fisheries in the area from U.S./Canada Border to Cape Falcon, Oregon.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Comment Period Extension
NMFS is extending the comment period for the proposed rule to implement the 2011-2012 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Amendment 16-5; and Amendment 23 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP). The comment period is being extended to provide additional opportunity for public comment.
Marine Mammals; File No. 15488
Notice is hereby given that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division [Responsible Party: Dan Forster], has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis).
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Exempted Fishing, Scientific Research, Display, and Chartering Permits; Letters of Acknowledgment
NMFS announces its intent to issue Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs), Scientific Research Permits (SRPs), Display Permits, Letters of Acknowledgment (LOAs), and Chartering Permits for the collection of Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) in 2011. In general, EFPs and related permits would authorize collection of a limited number of tunas, swordfish, billfishes, and sharks from Federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico for the purposes of scientific data collection and public display. Chartering permits allow the collection of HMS on the high seas or in the Exclusive Economic Zone of other nations. Generally, these permits will be valid from the date of issuance through December 31, 2011, unless otherwise specified, subject to the terms and conditions of individual permits.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Inseason Adjustments to Fishery Management Measures
This final rule makes inseason adjustments to commercial and tribal fishery management measures for several groundfish species taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. These actions, which are authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), are intended to allow fisheries to access more abundant groundfish stocks while protecting overfished and depleted stocks.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Inseason Action To Close the Commercial Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark Fishery in the Atlantic Region
NMFS is closing the commercial fishery for non-sandbar large coastal sharks (LCS) in the Atlantic region. This action is necessary because landings in this fishery have exceeded 80 percent of the available quota.
International Fisheries; South Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Procedures To Request Licenses and a System To Allocate Licenses
Pursuant to its authority under the South Pacific Tuna Act of 1988 (SPTA), NMFS issues regulations to modify the procedures that U.S. purse seine vessels use to request fishing licenses to fish in areas managed under the SPTA. This rule also establishes a system for allocating licenses in the event more applications are received than there are licenses available. Such an allocation system is needed because the number of applications is approaching the number of available licenses, and may exceed that number. The license allocation system includes objective criteria to be used by NMFS in prioritizing among license applicants. The license application procedures are modified in accordance with the allocation system, and are designed to provide license holders and prospective license applicants with a clear and certain regulatory process. The regulations for vessels licensed under the SPTA are also modified to require that the vessel monitoring system units (VMS units), also known as mobile transmitting units, installed and carried on the vessels are a type that is NMFS-approved.
Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops
Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in January, February, and March of 2011. 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 who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2011.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Emergency Rule Extension, Pollock Catch Limit Revisions
NMFS extends the pollock specifications implemented by a July 20, 2010, emergency rule, which is scheduled to expire on January 11, 2011. Specifically, this temporary rule maintains the new stock status determination criteria for pollock and associated increases in pollock catch limits under the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP), for an additional 186 days, in order to implement pollock catch limits through either the end of fishing year (FY) 2010 (i.e., through April 30, 2011) or until superseded by limits for FY 2011.