Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2 for the South Atlantic Region
NMFS proposes to implement the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2 (CE-BA 2) to implement the following South Atlantic fishery management plan (FMP) amendments: Amendment 1 to the FMP for Pelagic Sargassum Habitat of the South Atlantic Region (Sargassum FMP); Amendment 7 to the FMP for Coral, Coral reefs, and Live/Hard Bottom Habitats of the South Atlantic Region (Coral FMP); and Amendment 25 to the FMP for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper-Grouper FMP), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council); as well as Amendment 21 to the FMP for Coastal Migratory Pelagic (CMP) Resources (CMP FMP) as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils. If implemented, this rule would modify the fishery management unit for octocorals in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ), establish an annual catch limit (ACL) for octocorals, modify management in special management zones (SMZs) off South Carolina, and modify sea turtle and small tooth sawfish release gear specifications in the South Atlantic region. Through CE-BA 2, NMFS also proposes to designate new Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) and EFH-Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (EFH-HAPCs) for the Snapper-Grouper, Coral and Sargassum FMPs. The intended effects of this rule are to specify an ACL for octocorals, implement management measures to ensure overfishing does not occur for these species but that optimum yield may be achieved, and to conserve and protect habitat in the South Atlantic region.
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 under existing regulations because landings in this fishery have exceeded 80 percent of the available quota.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gag Grouper Closure Measures
NMFS issues this temporary rule to extend the effective date of interim measures to reduce overfishing of gag in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) implemented by a temporary rule published by NMFS on June 2, 2011. This temporary rule extends the interim measures implemented to reduce overfishing of gag in the Gulf by reducing the commercial quota for gag and, thus, the combined commercial quota for shallow-water grouper species (SWG), establishing a 2-month recreational season for gag, and suspending red grouper multi-use allocation in the Gulf grouper and tilefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) program, as recommended by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). The intended effect of this rule is to reduce overfishing of the gag resource in the Gulf.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
NMFS has determined that an Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota transfer is appropriate, and transfers 50 metric tons (mt) from the Reserve category to the General category for the remainder of the 2011 fishing year. NMFS also has determined that the General category daily BFT retention limit should be adjusted from three to two large medium or giant BFT for the remainder of the 2011 fishing year (i.e., through December 31, 2011) based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments. This action applies to Atlantic Tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels (when fishing commercially for BFT).
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Mokupapapa Discovery Center Exhibit Evaluation
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.