Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas
NMFS provides notification of the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that it has assigned to the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC), and other limitations deriving from regulations adopted at the 59th Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). For 2011, the quota is 75 bowhead whales struck. This quota and other limitations govern the harvest of bowhead whales by members of the AEWC.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Space Vehicle and Missile Launch Operations at Kodiak Launch Complex, AK
NMFS, upon application from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC), is issuing regulations to govern the unintentional taking of small numbers of marine mammals incidental to rocket launches from the Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) on Kodiak Island, AK. Issuance of regulations is required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) when the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), after notice and opportunity for comment, finds, as here, that such takes will have a negligible impact on the species and stocks of marine mammals and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on their availability for subsistence uses. These regulations do not authorize the AAC's rocket launch activities; such authorization is not within the jurisdiction of the Secretary. Rather, these regulations govern the issuance of Letters of Authorization (LOAs) for the unintentional and incidental take of marine mammals in connection with this activity and prescribe methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species and their habitat, and on the availability of the species for subsistence uses. In addition, NMFS incorporates reporting and monitoring requirements on these activities.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene public meetings.
NOAA Policy on Prohibited and Approved Uses of the Asset Forfeiture Fund
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act authorizes the Secretary of Commerce through NOAA to pay certain enforcement related costs from sums received as fines, penalties, and forfeitures of property for violations of any marine resource law enforced by the Secretary. Fines, penalties, and forfeitures of property received by NOAA are deposited in an enforcement asset forfeiture fund. NOAA finalized its policy on March 16, 2011, to clearly articulate prohibited and approved uses of these funds to ensure no conflict of interesteither real or perceivedassociated with its use while continuing to promote a sound enforcement program dedicated to conserving and protecting our nation's marine resources.