Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Listing of Fisheries
The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) requires NMFS to publish in the Federal Register a list of fisheries that have been authorized to take threatened or endangered marine mammals. A list of such fisheries was published December 29, 2010, which authorized the taking of certain marine mammals listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) incidental to commercial fishing. With issuance of this notice, NMFS adds West Coast groundfish fisheries to this list for one stock of marine mammalsthe Eastern U.S. stock of Steller sea lions.
Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment for the Issuance of Incidental Harassment Authorizations in the U.S. Beaufort and Chukchi Seas
NMFS announces the availability of the ``Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) for the Issuance of Incidental Harassment Authorizations for the Take of Marine Mammals by Harassment Incidental to Conducting Exploratory Drilling Programs in the U.S. Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.'' Publication of this notice begins the official public comment period for this DEA. The purpose of the DEA is to evaluate, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of issuing Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHAs) to Shell for the take of marine mammals incidental to offshore oil and gas exploratory drilling programs in the U.S. Beaufort and Chukchi Seas pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 24
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 24 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper- Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 24 proposes actions to revise definitions of management thresholds for South Atlantic red grouper; establish a rebuilding plan; establish red grouper sector annual catch limits (ACLs) based on allocation decisions, a recreational annual catch target (ACT), and sector accountability measures (AMs); and remove the combined gag, black grouper, and red grouper ACLs and AMs. The intent of Amendment 24 is to implement a rebuilding plan for red grouper to help achieve optimum yield (OY) for the red grouper resource in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels (CVs) using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2012 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to CVs using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Closure
NMFS closes the hook-and-line component of the commercial sector of the coastal migratory pelagic fishery for king mackerel in the southern Florida west coast subzone. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.