Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management 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. This EFP application would exempt commercial fishing vessels from the following Federal American lobster regulations: (1) Gear specifications (including escape vents, ghost panel and maximum trap size; (2) trap limits; and (3) trap tags to allow 11 Federally permitted vessels to utilize a combined total of 35 modified lobster traps to catch juvenile lobsters, (30-50 mm carapace length), throughout lobster management area 3 (Area 3), in an attempt to understand patterns of larval dispersal and settlement. This proposed project would be conducted by the Atlantic Offshore Lobster Association (AOLA) in conjunction with scientists and the fishing industry. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed EFPs.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Extension of Exempted Fishing Permits
The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Northeast Region, NMFS (Assistant Regional Administrator), has made a preliminary determination that two requests for extensions to exempted fishing permits (EFPs) contain all of the required information and warrant further consideration. The Assistant Regional Administrator previously made a determination that the activities authorized under the initial EFPs, issued on June 17, 2010, are 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 grant extensions to the original EFPs. The EFP extensions would enable vessels to harvest monkfish granted through the Monkfish Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program, and grants exemptions from the monkfish days-at-sea (DAS) possession limit in the Southern Fishery Management Area (SFMA). The EFP issued to the gillnet tie-down study also exempts vessels from the monkfish minimum fish size limits for research purposes only. NMFS is soliciting comment from interested parties on these EFP extension requests.
Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Limited Access for Guided Sport Charter Vessels in Alaska
This interpretation clarifies regulations that apply to vessels operating in the guided sport (charter) fishery for halibut in International Pacific Halibut Commission Management Area 2C (Southeast Alaska) and Area 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). Under regulations implementing the charter halibut limited access program, all vessel operators in Area 2C and Area 3A with charter vessel anglers on board catching and retaining halibut must have a valid charter halibut permit that was issued by NMFS on board the vessel. This interpretation clarifies that a valid charter halibut permit must be on board a vessel when the charter vessel guide on board is being compensated to provide assistance to persons catching and retaining halibut. A charter vessel guide is not required to have a charter halibut permit on board a vessel during a recreational halibut fishing trip on which he or she is not being compensated to provide assistance to persons catching and retaining halibut.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a meeting of the Reef Fish Advisory Panel.