National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration March 2012 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 24
Document Number: 2012-7721
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes to implement Amendment 24 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 establish red grouper commercial and recreational sector annual catch limits (ACLs); establish red grouper sector accountability measures (AMs); and remove the combined gag, black grouper, and red grouper commercial quota, and commercial and recreational sector ACLs and AMs. The intent of this rule is to specify ACLs and AMs for red grouper while maintaining catch levels consistent with achieving optimum yield (OY) for the red grouper resource. Additionally, Amendment 24 would implement a rebuilding plan for red grouper in the South Atlantic.
Identification of Nations Whose Fishing Vessels Are Engaged in Illegal, Unreported, or Unregulated Fishing
Document Number: 2012-7718
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is seeking information regarding nations whose vessels are engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated (IUU) fishing, bycatch of protected living marine resources (PLMRs), and/or fishing activities in waters beyond any national jurisdiction that target or incidentally catch sharks. Such information will be reviewed for the purposes of the identification of nations pursuant to the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act (Moratorium Protection Act).
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Low-Energy Marine Geophysical Survey in the Central Pacific Ocean, May Through June, 2012
Document Number: 2012-7717
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received an application from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DEO), a part of Columbia University, for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a low-energy marine geophysical survey in the central Pacific Ocean, May through June, 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, 16 species of marine mammals during the specified activity.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 4
Document Number: 2012-7713
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
On March 16, 2012, NMFS published a proposed rule for a fishery management plan (FMP) amendment modifying the regulations governing the Federal small-scale HMS fisheries in the U.S. Caribbean, and announced that public hearings would be scheduled in a future notice. In this notice, NMFS is announcing public hearings in St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands (USVI) St. Thomas, USVI, San Juan, Puerto Rico (PR), Ponce, PR, and Mayaguez, PR, in order to provide greater opportunity for public comment on the proposed rule. Public comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before June 14, 2012.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod for American Fisheries Act Catcher/Processors Using Trawl Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: 2012-7711
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawl catcher/processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the B season allowance of the 2012 Pacific cod total allowable catch specified for AFA trawl catcher/processors in the BSAI.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan; Secretarial Amendment
Document Number: 2012-7710
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This final rule implements a Secretarial Amendment to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan to establish a mechanism for specifying annual catch limits and accountability measures for the small-mesh multispecies fishery beginning in fishing year 2012. This amendment is necessary because the New England Fishery Management Council has been delayed in implementing a mechanism to specify annual catch limits and accountability measures for the silver hake, red hake, and offshore hake stocks that are managed as a sub-set of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan to meet the 2011 deadline in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
Document Number: 2012-7662
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold meetings of its: Snapper Grouper AP; Joint Shrimp and Deepwater Shrimp AP; Dolphin Wahoo AP; King and Spanish Mackerel AP; and Coral AP in North Charleston, SC. An MPA Workshop will be held in conjunction with the Snapper Grouper AP meeting. All meetings are open to the public. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2012-7661
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-30
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).
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
Document Number: 2012-7660
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold meetings of its Joint Marianas and American Samoa Archipelago Plan Team (Joint PT) and Hawaii and Pacific Remote Island Area Archipelago Plan Team (HI-PRIA PT) to review the status of the nearshore fisheries, data collection issues and improvements, improvements in the Annual Catch Limit specifications, and developing Cooperative Research Priorities.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
Document Number: 2012-7659
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a public meeting.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2012-7658
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) 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.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 20A
Document Number: 2012-7604
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 20A (Amendment 20A) to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP) as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). If implemented, this rule would revise the wreckfish individual transferable quota (ITQ) program, by defining and reverting inactive wreckfish quota shares, redistributing reverted quota shares to remaining shareholders, establishing a cap on the number of wreckfish quota shares a single entity may own, and establishing an appeals process for redistribution of reverted wreckfish quota shares. The intent of this rule is to help achieve the optimum yield (OY) from the wreckfish commercial sector in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
Notice of Availability of Draft Documents for Public Comment Related to a Fishery Conservation Plan and Research Permits for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
Document Number: 2012-7599
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has submitted applications to NMFS for four scientific research permits and one incidental take permit (Permits) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to support permit-issuance decisions. As required by the ESA, WDFW has also prepared a Conservation Plan (Plan) designed to minimize and mitigate any such take of endangered or threatened species. The Permit applications are related to scientific research and fisheries management measures in waters of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin, Washington. The research permits and fishery permit and the Plan each have a proposed term of 5 years. We request comments from the public on the draft EA, the proposed Plan and associated applications. All comments received will become part of the public record.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Navy Training Conducted at the Silver Strand Training Complex, San Diego Bay
Document Number: 2012-7593
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received an application from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting training exercises at the Silver Strand Training Complex (SSTC) in the vicinity of San Diego Bay, California. Subsequently, additional information on marine mammals and proposed improvement on marine mammal monitoring and mitigation measures was received from the Navy. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to the Navy to incidentally harass, by Level B Harassment only, eight species of marine mammals during the specified activity.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Document Number: 2012-7583
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to fully use the A season apportionment of the 2012 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to trawl catcher vessels in the BSAI.
Fisheries of the Economic Exclusive Zone Off Alaska; Shallow-Water Species Fishery by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2012-7581
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for species that comprise the shallow-water species fishery by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the first seasonal apportionment of the Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the shallow-water species fishery in the GOA has been reached.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2012 Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quota Specifications
Document Number: 2012-7578
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
On March 16, 2012, NMFS published a proposed rule to establish 2012 BFT quota specifications, and announced that public hearings would be scheduled in a future notice. In this notice NMFS is announcing public hearings in Gloucester, MA, and Silver Spring, MD, in order to provide greater opportunity for public comment on the proposed rule.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in the West Yakutat District in the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2012-7577
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is opening directed fishing for pollock in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the 2012 total allowable catch of pollock in the West Yakutat District of the GOA.
Marine Mammals; File No. 16621
Document Number: 2012-7600
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Alejandro Acevedo-Guti[eacute]rrez, Ph.D., Biology Department, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA to conduct research on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina).
Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery
Document Number: 2012-7592
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this notice to inform interested persons of the voting period for the fishing capacity reduction program referendum for the Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Framework Adjustment 47
Document Number: 2012-7075
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes to approve Framework Adjustment 47 (Framework 47) to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and to implement its measures through the proposed regulations. Framework 47 was developed and adopted by the New England Fishery Management Council (Council) based on the biennial review process established in the NE Multispecies FMP to develop annual catch limits (ACLs) and revise management measures necessary to rebuild overfished groundfish stocks and achieve the goals and objectives of the FMP. NMFS also proposes management measures and revisions to existing regulations that are not included in Framework 47, including common pool management measures for fishing year (FY) 2012, modification of the Ruhle trawl definition, modification of the method used to estimate fillets or parts of fish landed for at-home consumption, and clarification of the regulations for charter/party and recreational groundfish vessels fishing in groundfish closed areas. The proposed regulations are intended to prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best available scientific information.
Marine Mammals; File No. 17159
Document Number: 2012-7252
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-26
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that Simon Nash, Parthenon Entertainment Ltd, 34 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2LG, United Kingdom, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct commercial or educational photography on spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris).
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Observer Programs' Information that Can Be Gathered Only Through Questions
Document Number: 2012-7211
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-26
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.
Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council); Public Meeting
Document Number: 2012-7165
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-26
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Pacific Council will convene a meeting of the Ecosystem Plan Development Team (EPDT) which is open to the public.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2012-7164
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-26
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Whiting Oversight Committee on April 17, 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.
Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT); Spring Species Working Group Meeting
Document Number: 2012-7064
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Advisory Committee (Committee) to the U.S. Section to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) announces its annual spring meeting on May 1-2, 2012. The Committee will meet with its Technical Advisors to discuss matters relating to ICCAT, including the 2011 Commission meeting results; research and management activities; global and domestic initiatives related to ICCAT; the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act-required report on any identification of countries that are diminishing the effectiveness of ICCAT; the results of meetings of the Committee's Species Working Groups; and other matters relating to the international management of ICCAT species.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery; Amendment 17
Document Number: 2012-7062
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This final rule implements measures in Amendment 17 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan which was approved on March 8, 2012. This action amends 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 may be allocated an annual catch entitlement and specifically authorized to provide their annual catch entitlement and/or days-at-sea to approved groundfish sectors to enhance the fishing opportunities available to sector members. This action also approves a provision allowing NMFS to issue a days-at-sea credit to a vessel that cancels a fishing trip prior to setting or hauling fishing gear.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2012-7046
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is opening directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) for 72 hours. This action is necessary to fully use the B season allowance of the 2012 total allowable catch of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 18A
Document Number: 2012-7045
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 18A to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 18A), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). If implemented, this rule would update the current rebuilding strategy for black sea bass, modify the current system of accountability measures for black sea bass, limit effort in the black sea bass segment of the snapper- grouper fishery, and improve fisheries data in the for-hire sector of the snapper-grouper fishery. The intent of this rule is to reduce overcapacity in the black sea bass segment of the snapper-grouper fishery.
Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Greater Than or Equal to 50 Feet (15.2 Meters) Length Overall Using Hook-and-Line Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2012-7043
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels (CVs) greater than or equal to 50 feet (15.2 meters (m)) in length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear in the Central 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 greater than or equal to 50 feet (15.2 m) LOA using hook-and-line gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals: Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Navy's Training Activities at the Gulf of Mexico Range Complex
Document Number: 2012-7041
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued a two-year Letter of Authorization (LOA) to the U.S. Navy (Navy) to take marine mammals by harassment incidental to its training activities at the Gulf of Mexico (GOMEX) Range Complex.
Incidental Taking of Marine Mammals; Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to the Explosive Removal of Offshore Structures in the Gulf of Mexico
Document Number: 2012-6821
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued one-year LOAs to take marine mammals incidental to the explosive removal of offshore oil and gas structures (EROS) in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2012-6816
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock in the West Yakutat District of the GOA.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 620 in the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2012-6814
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 620 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the B season allowance of the 2012 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 620 in the GOA.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2012-6767
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a meeting of the Socioeconomic Scientific and Statistical Committee.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2012-6761
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Habitat Oversight Committee 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.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Atlantic Right Whale and the North Pacific Right Whale
Document Number: 2012-6575
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces a 5-year review of North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended. A 5-year review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any such information on these whales that has become available since the last status review in 2006.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications and Management Measures
Document Number: 2012-6456
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is implementing final 2012 specifications and management measures for Atlantic mackerel (mackerel), and 2012-2014 specifications for Illex and longfin squid, and interim final 2012 specifications and management measures for butterfish. This is the first year that the specifications are being set for Atlantic mackerel and butterfish under the provisions of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measure Omnibus Amendment. This action also adjusts the closure threshold for the commercial mackerel fishery to 95 percent (from 90 percent), and allows the use of jigging gear to target longfin squid if the longfin squid fishery is closed due to the butterfish mortality cap. Finally, this rule makes minor corrections in existing regulatory text to clarify the intent of the regulations. These specifications and management measures promote the utilization and conservation of the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish (MSB) resource.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Species Fisheries; Swordfish Retention Limits
Document Number: 2012-6577
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues a final rule under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) to modify retention limits for swordfish harvested in the U.S. West Coast-based deep-set tuna longline (DSLL) fishery. The DSLL fishery is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP). The final rule implements the Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) recommendation to modify HMS FMP regulations governing the possession and landing limits of swordfish captured in the DSLL fishery as follows: if a vessel without an observer onboard uses any J-hooks (tuna hooks), the trip limit is 10 swordfish; if a vessel without an observer onboard uses only circle hooks, the trip limit is 25 swordfish; if the vessel carries a NMFS- approved observer during the entire fishing trip, there is no limit on swordfish retained.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Proposed 2012 Spiny Dogfish Fishery Specifications
Document Number: 2012-6576
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This rule proposes a catch limit, commercial quota, and trip limit for the spiny dogfish fishery for the 2012 fishing year. The proposed action was developed by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils pursuant to the fishery specification requirements of the Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan. The proposed management measures are supported by the best available scientific information and reflect recent increases in spiny dogfish biomass. The proposed action is expected to result in positive economic impacts for the spiny dogfish fishery while maintaining the conservation objectives of the Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan.
Endangered Species; File No. 15672
Document Number: 2012-6574
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice is hereby given that Molly Lutcavage, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 108 Main Street, Gloucester MA 01930 has been issued a permit to take leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) for purposes of scientific research.
Science Advisory Board (SAB); Notice of Open Meeting
Document Number: 2012-6485
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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. Time and Date: The meeting will be held Thursday, April 5, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and Friday, April 6, 2012, from 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Please refer to the Web page http://www.sab.noaa.gov/ Meetings/meetings.html for the most up-to-date meeting agenda. Place: The meeting will be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle, Washington, DC 20005 Please check the SAB Web site http://www.sab.noaa.gov for directions to the meeting location. Status: The meeting will be open to public participation with a 15 minute public comment period on April 5 at 5 p.m. (check Web site to confirm time). The SAB expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of five (5) minutes. Individuals or groups planning to make a verbal presentation should contact the SAB Executive Director by March 29, 2012 to schedule their presentation. Written comments should be received in the SAB Executive Director's Office by March 29, 2012 to provide sufficient time for SAB review. Written comments received by the SAB Executive Director after March 29, 2012 will be distributed to the SAB, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seating at the meeting will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Special Accommodations: These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for special accommodations may be directed no later than 12 p.m. on March 29, 2012, to Dr. Cynthia Decker, SAB Executive Director, SSMC3, Room 11230, 1315 East-West Hwy., Silver Spring, MD 20910. Matters To Be Considered: The meeting will include the following topics: (1) Update from the SAB Research and Development Portfolio Review Task Force; (2) External Review of the Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (CICS), Princeton University; (3) Proposed New Members for the Data Archive and Access Requirements Working Group (DAARWG); (4) Update from the SAB Satellite Task Force; (5) NOAA Response to the SAB Report on Fisheries Enterprise Data Management; (6) NOAA Response to Congress on Compensation Policy for Specialized Satellite Data Products and Services; (7) NOAA Report on Needs Assessment for Science Advisory Board Working Groups; (8) Use of the NOAA Logo by Affiliated Partners; and (9) Updates from SAB Working Groups.
Highly Migratory Species; 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 4
Document Number: 2012-6455
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This fishery management plan (FMP) amendment addresses Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) fishery management measures in the U.S. Caribbean Region. There are substantial differences between some segments of the HMS fisheries in the Caribbean Region and the HMS fisheries that occur off the mainland of the United States, including: Limited fishing permit and dealer permit possession; smaller vessels; limited availability of processing and cold storage facilities; shorter trips; limited profit margins; and high local consumption of catches. These differences can sometimes create an awkward fit between current Federal HMS fishery regulations applicable to the whole Atlantic HMS fishery and the traditional operation of Caribbean fisheries, which has led to fewer Caribbean Region fishermen and vessels obtaining required permits and reporting data needed for effective fisheries management. NMFS is proposing management measures that would amend the HMS fishery management regulations for the U.S. Caribbean Region to better correspond with the traditional operation of the fishing fleet in the region and to provide NMFS with an improved capability to monitor and sustainably manage those fisheries. With this amendment, NMFS proposes to create an HMS Caribbean Small Boat Commercial Permit (CSBP) allowing fishing for and sales of bigeye, albacore, yellowfin, and skipjack (BAYS) tunas, Atlantic swordfish, and Atlantic sharks within local Caribbean markets. The proposed CSBP management measures include specific authorized species and retention limits, modification of reporting requirements, authorization of specific gears, vessel size restrictions, and consideration of mandatory workshop training. Additionally, NMFS proposes to stipulate that the CSBP could not be held in combination with any other HMS permit. This proposed rule modifies regulatory text that is also proposed to be amended by the HMS Electronic Dealer Reporting System (E-dealer) rulemaking (RIN 0648-BA75). The proposed language included in the HMS E-dealer rulemaking is being utilized in the proposed rule for this action.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2012 Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quota Specifications
Document Number: 2012-6453
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes 2012 quota specifications for the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) fishery. This action is necessary to implement binding recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), as required by the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and to achieve domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Russian River Estuary Management Activities
Document Number: 2012-6452
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has received an application from the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals incidental to Russian River estuary management activities. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to SCWA to take, by Level B Harassment only, several species of marine mammals during the specified activity.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Document Number: 2012-6451
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS has issued permit 15542 to Normandeau Associates, Incorporated [Responsible Party: Tim Salamunovich], 890 L Street, Arcata, CA 95521; permit 16608 to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) [Responsible Party: Michelle Banonis], 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-1727 Sacramento, CA 95825; and permit 16531 to FISHBIO Environmental, LLC [Responsible Party: Andrea Fuller], 599 Hi-Tech Pkwy, Oakdale, CA 95361; for purposes of scientific research.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment for the South Atlantic
Document Number: 2012-6450
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS issues this final rule 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 (Golden Crab FMP), the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery off the Atlantic States (Dolphin and Wahoo FMP), and the Pelagic Sargassum Habitat of the South Atlantic Region (Sargassum FMP) as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule specifies annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for species in the Snapper-Grouper, Dolphin and Wahoo, and Golden Crab FMPs. This final rule also describes the current terminology and measures in place in the Sargassum FMP that are equivalent to ACLs and AMs. For Sargassum, this final rule does not specifically set an ACL because there is currently a commercial quota in place which functions as an ACL, and there are commercial closure provisions in the event the quota is met or projected to be met which functions as an AM. To implement the Snapper-Grouper FMP, this final rule revises the snapper-grouper fishery management unit (FMU), including the removal of some species, designation of ecosystem component (EC) species, and the development of species groups. This final rule also establishes a daily vessel limit for the recreational possession of wreckfish and creates a closed season for the wreckfish recreational sector. To implement the Dolphin and Wahoo FMP, this final rule prohibits recreational bag limit sales of dolphin from for-hire vessels, and sets a minimum size limit for dolphin off South Carolina that complements the existing minimum size limit off Georgia and Florida. The intent of this final rule is to specify ACLs for species not undergoing overfishing while maintaining catch levels consistent with achieving optimum yield (OY) for the resource.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2012-6448
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) will hold a meeting of its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) to review and discuss the following items: Fishery Management Plan (FMP) amendments under development; current landings and Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) values for managed stocks including the effect of revised recreational catch estimates; ABC control rule approaches; research priorities; peer review procedures; and planning for update assessments of vermilion snapper and red porgy. The meeting will be held in Savannah, GA. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2012-6404
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop Advisory Panel 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.
Southern California Hook and Line Survey; Public Meeting
Document Number: 2012-6403
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) will hold a peer review meeting to evaluate the Southern California Shelf Rockfish Hook and Line Survey which was designed to collect fishery-independent data for use in the stock assessments of groundfish associated with rocky habitats.