National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration December 2011 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment for the South Atlantic
Document Number: 2011-33601
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2011-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS hereby amends a proposed rule published on December 1, 2011, to implement the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment (Comprehensive ACL Amendment) to the Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper- Grouper FMP), the Golden Crab Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery off the Atlantic States, and the Pelagic Sargassum Habitat of the South Atlantic Region as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). In November 2011, the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) met and determined the allowable biological catch (ABC) for wreckfish should be reduced to prevent overfishing from occurring. The proposed rule that was published on December 1, 2011 contained a variety of actions unrelated to the wreckfish ABC and those actions did not need to be delayed by further Council decisions with respect to the revised wreckfish ABC. During its December 5-9, 2011 meeting, the Council concurred with the SSC's determination for a revised wreckfish ABC and to develop an amended proposed rule for the Comprehensive ACL Amendment to notify the public of this change to the wreckfish ABC. Based on the new recommended ABC, this rule proposes to reduce the commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs) for wreckfish. The intent of this rule is to specify sector ACLs for wreckfish while maintaining a catch level consistent with achieving optimum yield for the resource.
International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Restrictions for Bigeye Tuna and Yellowfin Tuna in Purse Seine Fisheries for 2012
Document Number: 2011-33593
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This interim rule extends the dates of applicability of existing regulations applicable to U.S. purse seine vessels operating in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) through December 31, 2012. NMFS issues this rule under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act) to implement a decision of the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC). The WCPFC decision, made December 20, 2011, extends the effectiveness of the WCPFC's ``Conservation and Management Measure for Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean'' (CMM 2008-01), originally scheduled to expire on December 31, 2011. CMM 2008-01 is the basis for the existing regulations whose dates of applicability are being extended by this interim rule. Under this rulemaking, these regulations now apply through December 31, 2012, and include limits on fishing effort, restrictions on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs), closed areas, catch retention requirements, and requirements to carry observers. This action is necessary for the United States to satisfy its international obligations under the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention), to which it is a Contracting Party.
Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates Fishery Management Plans of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Document Number: 2011-33515
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 6 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Reef Fish FMP), Amendment 5 to the FMP for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Spiny Lobster FMP), Amendment 3 to the FMP for the Queen Conch Resources of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Queen Conch FMP), and Amendment 3 to the FMP for Corals and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Corals and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates FMP). In combination, the amendments represent the 2011 Caribbean ACL Amendment prepared by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule will: Establish annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for reef fish, spiny lobster, and aquarium trade species which are not determined to be undergoing overfishing; allocate ACLs among island management areas; establish recreational bag limits for reef fish and spiny lobster; remove eight conch species from the Queen Conch FMP; and establish framework procedures for the Spiny Lobster and Corals and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates FMPs. The 2011 Caribbean ACL Amendment will also revise management reference points and status determination criteria for selected reef fish, spiny lobster, and aquarium trade species. The intended effect of the rule is to prevent overfishing of reef fish, spiny lobster, and aquarium trade species while maintaining catch levels consistent with achieving optimum yield (OY).
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Amendments to the Queen Conch and Reef Fish Fishery Management Plans of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Document Number: 2011-33512
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management Plan for Queen Conch Resources of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Amendment 5 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Amendments 2 and 5), prepared by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule: Establishes annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for queen conch and for all reef fish units or sub-units that are classified as undergoing overfishing (i.e., snapper, grouper and parrotfish); allocates ACLs among island management areas; revises the composition of the snapper and grouper complexes; prohibits fishing for and possession of three parrotfish species; establishes recreational bag limits for snappers, groupers, and parrotfishes; and establishes framework procedures for the queen conch and reef fish fishery management plans. Amendments 2 and 5 also revise management reference points and status determination criteria. The intended effect of the rule is to prevent overfishing of queen conch and reef fish species while maintaining catch levels consistent with achieving optimum yield (OY).
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; Interim 2012 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications; 2012 Research Set-Aside Projects
Document Number: 2011-33442
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is implementing interim catch levels and management measures, called specifications, for the 2012 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries, and is also providing notice of projects likely to request research set-aside related to exempted fishing permits. Interim specifications are necessary to ensure that fishing quotas for the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries are in place at the start of the fishing year on January 1, 2012, to ensure the three species are not overfished or subject to overfishing in 2012. Notice of exempted fishing permit requests is necessary to allow public comment on the fishing regulation exemptions requested by research set- aside participants.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Recreational Accountability Measures
Document Number: 2011-33319
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This interim final rule implements a possession limit and increases the minimum fish size for haddock caught in the Gulf of Maine by recreational anglers aboard private or charter/party vessels. This action is intended to address an overage of the fishing year 2010 GOM haddock sub-annual catch limit by the recreational fishery, and prevent a similar overage from occurring in the future. NMFS implements this interim final rule pursuant to its authority under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and its implementing regulations.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2 for the South Atlantic Region
Document Number: 2011-33300
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this final rule 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. This rule modifies the fishery management unit (FMU) for octocorals in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ), establishes an annual catch limit (ACL) for octocorals, modifies management in special management zones (SMZs) off South Carolina, and modifies sea turtle and smalltooth sawfish release gear specifications in the South Atlantic region. CE-BA 2 also designates new Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for Sargassum, and EFH- Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (EFH-HAPCs) for the Snapper- Grouper, Coral FMPs. This rule specifies ACLs for species not undergoing overfishing (octocorals), implements management measures to ensure overfishing does not occur for these species but optimum yield may be achieved, and conserves and protects habitat in the South Atlantic region.
Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean
Document Number: 2011-33195
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces the availability of the ``Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean.'' Publication of this notice begins the official public comment period for this DEIS. The purpose of the DEIS is to evaluate, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of implementing the alternative approaches for authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to oil and gas exploration activities in the Arctic Ocean pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is a cooperating agency on this DEIS, and as such, this DEIS also evaluates the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of implementing the alternative approaches for authorizing geological and geophysical (G&G) surveys and ancillary activities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) in the Arctic Ocean. The North Slope Borough (NSB) is also a cooperating agency on this DEIS.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod Allocations in the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 83; Correction
Document Number: 2011-33452
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This document contains one correction to the final rule pertaining to Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod Allocations in the Gulf of Alaska published on December 1, 2011. This correction is intended to clarify a regulatory prohibition.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Final 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
Document Number: 2011-33448
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS publishes revisions to the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) that are required by the final rule implementing Amendment 83 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for Pacific cod at the beginning of the 2012 fishing year consistent with the new Pacific cod sector allocations implemented by Amendment 83 and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the FMP. 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.
Marine Mammals; File No. 16685
Document Number: 2011-33441
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Thomas A. Jefferson, Ph.D., Clymene Enterprises, 5495 Camino Playa Malaga, San Diego, CA 92124 to conduct research on nine cetacean species off the California coast.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
Document Number: 2011-33439
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2011 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.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2012 Bering Sea Pollock Total Allowable Catch Amount
Document Number: 2011-33438
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is adjusting the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) amount for the Bering Sea pollock fishery. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined this TAC is incorrectly specified. This action will ensure the Bering Sea pollock TAC is the appropriate amount based on the best available scientific information for pollock in the Bering Sea subarea. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2012 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amount
Document Number: 2011-33436
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is adjusting the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) amount for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Pacific cod fishery. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined this TAC is incorrectly specified. This action will ensure the BSAI Pacific cod TAC is the appropriate amount, based on the best available scientific information for Pacific cod in the BSAI. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
Document Number: 2011-33434
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the State of Maine is transferring portions of their 2011 commercial summer flounder quota to the State of Rhode Island. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2012 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Atka Mackerel Total Allowable Catch Amount
Document Number: 2011-33322
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is adjusting the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) amount for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island management area (BSAI) Atka mackerel fishery. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined this TAC is incorrectly specified. This action will ensure the BSAI Atka mackerel TAC is the appropriate amount, based on the best available scientific information for Atka mackerel in the BSAI. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; Amendment 16 to the Salmon Fishery Management Plan
Document Number: 2011-33308
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues a final rule under authority of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) to implement Amendment 16 to the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan for Commercial and Recreational Salmon Fisheries off the Coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California (Salmon FMP). NMFS approved Amendment 16 on December 16, 2011. This final rule implements components of Amendment 16 that bring the Salmon FMP into compliance with the MSA as amended in 2007, and the corresponding revised National Standard 1 Guidelines (NS1Gs) to end and prevent overfishing. Amendment 16 identifies stocks that are in the fishery, establishes status determination criteria (SDC), and specifies overfishing limits (OFLs), acceptable biological catch (ABC), and annual catch limits (ACLs). Amendment 16 also includes ``de minimis'' fishing provisions that allow for low levels of fishing impacts on stocks that are at low levels of abundance.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Removal of Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology Regulations
Document Number: 2011-33302
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action removes regulations implementing the Northeast Region Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM). To comply with the D.C. Circuit Court's decision, NMFS announces that the Northeast Region SBRM Omnibus Amendment is vacated and all regulations implemented by the SBRM Omnibus Amendment final rule are removed. The intended effect of this rule is to revise regulatory language to refer specifically to the industry-funded observer program in the scallop fishery.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Amendment 18
Document Number: 2011-33187
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 18 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (Councils). This rule removes species from the FMP; modifies the framework procedures; establishes two migratory groups for cobia; and establishes annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs) for king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia. In addition, Amendment 18 sets allocations for Atlantic migratory group cobia and establishes control rules for king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia. The intent of this rule is to specify ACLs for species not undergoing overfishing while maintaining sustainable catch levels.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Generic Annual Catch Limits/Accountability Measures Amendment for the Gulf of Mexico
Document Number: 2011-33185
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this final rule to implement the Generic Annual Catch Limits/Accountability Measures Amendment (Generic ACL Amendment) to the Red Drum, Reef Fish Resources, Shrimp, and Coral and Coral Reefs Fishery Management Plans for the Gulf of Mexico (FMPs) as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This rule defers management of selected species to other Federal or state agencies; removes species not currently in need of Federal management from the FMPs; develops species groups; modifies framework procedures; establishes annual catch limits (ACLs); and establishes accountability measures (AMs). The intent of this final rule is to specify ACLs for species not undergoing overfishing while maintaining sustainable catch levels.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2011-33272
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council's (Council) Groundfish Committee will meet to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2011-33271
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a conference call meeting of the Shrimp Advisory Panel (AP).
Fisheries of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Spanish Mackerel and Cobia
Document Number: 2011-33159
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The SEDAR assessments of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico stocks of Spanish mackerel and cobia will consist of a series of workshops and webinars: a Data Workshop and webinar, an Assessment Workshop and webinars, and a Review Workshop. The data and assessment webinars will be announced in a separate notice. This is the twenty- eighth SEDAR.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2011-33158
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a meeting of its Golden Crab AP in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Proposed 2012 and 2013 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
Document Number: 2011-33169
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications, apportionments, 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 2012 and 2013 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.
Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Cape Wind's High Resolution Survey in Nantucket Sound, MA
Document Number: 2011-33167
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to Cape Wind Associates (CWA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to pre-construction high resolution survey activities in Nantucket Sound.
Endangered Species; File Nos. 13599 and 1614
Document Number: 2011-33166
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that the following applicants have applied in due form for modifications to their scientific research permits: the National Ocean Service Marine Forensic Lab (NOS Lab) [Responsible Party: Julie Carter], 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412 (Permit No. 13599-01), and the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Region, Protected Resources Division [Responsible Party: Mary Colligan], 1 Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930 (Permit No. 1614- 01).
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2011-33069
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Ad Hoc Groundfish Essential Fish Habitat Review Committee (EFHRC) will hold a work session to continue the periodic review of groundfish essential fish habitat (EFH).
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2011-33068
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a meeting of the Red Snapper Advisory Panel (AP).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 88
Document Number: 2011-32873
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-12-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues regulations implementing Amendment 88 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). Amendment 88 is the Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program (Rockfish Program). These regulations allocate exclusive harvest privileges to a specific group of license limitation program license holders who used trawl gear to target Pacific ocean perch, pelagic shelf rockfish, and northern rockfish during particular qualifying years. The Rockfish Program retains the conservation, management, safety, and economic gains realized under the Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Pilot Program (Pilot Program) and resolves identified issues in the management and viability of the rockfish fisheries. This action is necessary to replace particular Pilot Program regulations that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2011. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the GOA FMP, and other applicable law.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery; Amendment 17
Document Number: 2011-32851
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2011-12-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes regulations to implement measures in Amendment 17 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This action would amend the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan to explicitly define and facilitate the effective operation of state- operated permit banks. As proposed in Amendment 17, state-operated permit banks would be allocated an annual catch entitlement and specifically authorized to provide their annual catch entitlement and/ or days-at-sea to approved groundfish sectors for the purpose of enhancing the fishing opportunities available to sector members. This action also includes a provision that would allow NMFS to issue a days- at-sea credit to a vessel that cancels a fishing trip prior to setting or hauling fishing gear and the vessel, therefore, does not catch or land fish at any time on the trip.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Proposed 2012 and 2013 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
Document Number: 2011-32848
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2011-12-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes 2012 and 2013 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 2012 and 2013 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.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Adjustment to 2012 Annual Catch Limits
Document Number: 2011-32846
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2011-12-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This action proposes to reduce the 2012 annual catch limits (ACLs) for the Atlantic herring (herring) fishery to account for catch overages in 2010 and to prevent overfishing.
Endangered Species; File No. 15566
Document Number: 2011-32543
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division, Charleston, SC 29422-2559 [Responsible Party: Mike Arendt], has requested a modification to scientific research Permit No. 15566.
Marine Mammals; File No. 15240
Document Number: 2011-32538
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that the NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), 2570 Dole Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 (Responsible Party: Frank A. Parrish, Ph.D.), has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on cetaceans.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Snapper-Grouper Management Measures
Document Number: 2011-32533
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2011-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS publishes this proposed rule to implement a regulatory amendment (Regulatory Amendment 11) to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP), as prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). If implemented, this rule would remove the harvest and possession prohibition of six deep-water snapper-grouper species (snowy grouper, blueline tilefish, yellowedge grouper, misty grouper, queen snapper, and silk snapper) from depths greater than 240 ft (73 m) in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The intent of this rule is to reduce the socio-economic impacts to fishermen harvesting deep-water snapper-grouper as well as maintain the biological protection to speckled hind and warsaw grouper in the South Atlantic.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on Petition To List the Barndoor Skate, Winter Skate and Smooth Skate Under the Endangered Species Act
Document Number: 2011-32530
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding for a petition to list the barndoor skate (Dipturus laevis), winter skate (Leucoraja ocellata) and smooth skate (Malacoraja senta) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition does not present substantial scientific information indicating the petitioned actions may be warranted. Accordingly, we will not initiate a review of the status of these species at this time.
Listing Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on Petitions To List the Thorny Skate (Amblyraja radiata
Document Number: 2011-32527
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, announce 90-day finding for petitions to list the thorny skate (Amblyraja radiata) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petitions do not present substantial scientific information indicating the petitioned actions may be warranted. Accordingly, we will not initiate a review of the status of thorny skate at this time.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings and Hearings
Document Number: 2011-32420
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) has begun its annual preseason management process for the 2012 ocean salmon fisheries. This document announces the availability of Pacific Council documents as well as the dates and locations of Pacific Council meetings and public hearings comprising the Pacific Council's complete schedule of events for determining the annual proposed and final modifications to ocean salmon fishery management measures. The agendas for the March and April 2012 Pacific Council meetings will be published in subsequent Federal Register documents prior to the actual meetings.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2011-32419
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Monkfish Oversight Committee, in January, 2012, 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.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Permitting, Vessel Identification, and Reporting Requirements for Deepwater Shrimp Fisheries in the Western Pacific Region
Document Number: 2011-32366
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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.
Marine Mammals; File No. 14241
Document Number: 2011-32288
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that Dr. Peter Tyack, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA has applied for an amendment to Permit No. 14241-02 to conduct research on marine mammals.
Notice of Availability for General Conservation Plans and Notice of Intent To Prepare Environmental Assessments
Document Number: 2011-32287
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We, NMFS, announce our intent to conduct public scoping necessary to gather information to prepare General Conservation Plans (GCPs) for the Penobscot Bay, Merrymeeting Bay, and Downeast Coastal Salmon Habitat Recovery Units (SHRUs) and Environmental Assessments (EAs) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The GCPs will provide a streamlined process by which dam owners that are not regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) can obtain an incidental take permit (ITP) by conforming to specific measures in their respective GCP that minimize and mitigate impacts to Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment (GOM DPS) of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). The GCP will be implemented cooperatively by participating dam owners and NMFS. The EAs will analyze the environmental effects of the proposed issuance of ITPs under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended. We provide this notice to announce the initiation of a public scoping period, during which other Federal and State agencies, Tribes, and the public can provide suggestions and information on the scope of issues and range of alternatives to be addressed in the GCPs and EAs.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Document Number: 2011-32286
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received a scientific research permit application request relating to Pacific salmon and the southern distinct population segment of Pacific eulachon. The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation efforts. The application may be viewed online at: https:// apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/previewopenforcomment.cfm
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery; South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery
Document Number: 2011-32273
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS, under the authority granted to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) under section 304(f) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), has designated the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (South Atlantic Council) as the responsible council to manage Nassau grouper in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) under the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper- Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper-Grouper FMP). Prior to this designation, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) was the responsible council to manage Nassau grouper from the fishery management unit in the FMP for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Reef Fish FMP).
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Survey in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, February to March 2012
Document Number: 2011-32100
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received an application from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (L-DEO) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a marine geophysical (seismic) survey in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a commonwealth in a political union with the U.S., February to March, 2012. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to L-DEO to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, 22 species of marine mammals during the specified activity.
International Affairs; U.S. Fish Quotas in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Regulatory Area
Document Number: 2011-32099
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that fish quotas are available for harvest in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area. This action is necessary to make fishing privileges available on an equitable basis.
Endangered Species; File No. 10022
Document Number: 2011-32091
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that Raymond Carthy, University of Florida, Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, 117 Newins-Ziegler Hall, P.O. Box 110450, Gainesville, FL 32611, has been issued a modification to scientific research Permit No. 10022- 01.
Endangered Species; File No. 15802
Document Number: 2011-32089
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 100 Eighth Avenue SE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 [Gregg Poulakis, Responsible Party], has requested a change to the application for a permit (File No. 15802).
Marine Mammals; File No. 781-1824
Document Number: 2011-32084
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-12-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that a major amendment to Permit No. 781-1824-01 has been issued to the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC, Dr. M. Bradley Hanson, Principal Investigator), 2725 Montlake Blvd. East, Seattle, Washington 98112-2097.