Listing Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List Alewife and Blueback Herring as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act
We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding for a petition to list alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and to designate critical habitat concurrent with a listing. We find that the petition presents substantial scientific information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. Accordingly, we will conduct a review of the status of alewife and blueback herring, collectively referred to as river herring, to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that the review is comprehensive, we solicit information pertaining to this species from any interested party.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 32
NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in Amendment 32 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). If implemented, this rule would adjust the commercial gag quota and recreational annual catch target (ACT) for 2012 through 2015 and subsequent fishing years, consistent with the gag rebuilding plan established in Amendment 32; adjust the shallow-water grouper (SWG) quota; adjust the commercial and recreational sector's annual catch limits (ACLs) for gag and red grouper; adjust the commercial ACL for SWG; establish a formula-based method for setting gag and red grouper multi-use allocation for the grouper/tilefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) program in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf); set the recreational gag fishing season from July 1 through October 31; reduce the gag commercial size limit to 22 inches (59 cm) total length (TL); and modify the gag and red grouper accountability measures (AMs). In addition, Amendment 32 would establish gag commercial ACTs and a 10-year gag rebuilding plan consistent with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This proposed rule is intended to end overfishing of gag, allow the gag stock to rebuild, and co-manage gag and red grouper by implementing concurrent management measures.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Grouper Management Measures
NMFS issues this final rule to implement the management actions described in a regulatory amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule increases the 2011 commercial quota for red grouper, and thereby increases the 2011 commercial quota for shallow water grouper (SWG), sets the commercial quota for red grouper and SWG from 2012 to 2015 and subsequent fishing years, and increases the red grouper recreational bag limit from two to four fish within the current four-fish grouper aggregate bag limit. The increase in the recreational bag limit will allow the recreational sector to more effectively harvest the increase in the recreational allocation established in the regulatory amendment. The intended effect of this final rule is to help prevent overfishing of red grouper while achieving optimum yield (OY) by increasing the red grouper harvest consistent with the findings of the recent 2010 re-run of the stock assessment for this species using updated information.
Science Advisory Board
The Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established by a Decision Memorandum dated September 25, 1997, and is the only Federal Advisory Committee with responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on strategies for research, education, and application of science to operations and information services. SAB activities and advice provide necessary input to ensure that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) science programs are of the highest quality and provide optimal support to resource management.