Marine Mammals; File No. 14325
Notice is hereby given that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), Division of Wildlife Conservation, Juneau, AK, (Principal Investigator: Michael Rehberg), has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 14325-01 for taking Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in Alaska.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Three Marine Geophysical Surveys in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, June Through July 2012
We have received an application from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a part of Columbia University, for an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting three consecutive marine geophysical surveys in the northeast Pacific Ocean, June through July 2012.
Availability of Report: California Eelgrass Mitigation Policy; Extension of Comment Period
NMFS is announcing an extension in the public comment period for the notice to allow other agencies and the public an opportunity to review and provide comments on the proposed adoption of the California Eelgrass Mitigation Policy (CEMP) by NMFS Southwest Region (SWR) Habitat Conservation Division (HCD). NMFS published the CEMP, which included a request for comment in the Federal Register on March 9, 2012. The public comment period was to end on May 8, 201260 days after publication in the Federal Register. The purpose of this document is to extend the comment period an additional 60 days until July 7, 2012. This extension of the comment period is provided to allow the public additional time to provide comment on the CEMP. The intent of the CEMP is to help ensure consistent and effective mitigation of unavoidable impacts to eelgrass habitat throughout the SWR. The CEMP is a unified policy document for SWR-HCD, based on the highly successful implementation of the Southern California Eelgrass Mitigation Policy, which has improved mitigation effectiveness since its initial adoption in 1991. This policy is needed to ensure effective, statewide eelgrass mitigation and will help ensure that unavoidable impacts to eelgrass habitat are fully and appropriately mitigated. It is anticipated that the adoption and implementation of this policy will provide for enhanced success of eelgrass mitigation in California. Given the success of the Southern California Eelgrass Mitigation Policy, the California Eelgrass Mitigation Policy reflects an expansion of the application of this policy with minor modifications to ensure a high standard of statewide eelgrass management and protection. The CEMP will supersede the Southern California Eelgrass Mitigation Policy for all areas of California upon its adoption.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2012 Management Measures
Through this final rule NMFS establishes fishery management measures for the 2012 ocean salmon fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California and the 2013 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 2013. Specific fishery management measures vary by fishery and by area. The measures establish fishing areas, seasons, quotas, legal gear, recreational fishing days and catch limits, possession and landing restrictions, and minimum lengths for salmon taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) (3-200 NM) off Washington, Oregon, and California. The management measures are intended to prevent overfishing and to apportion the ocean harvest equitably among treaty Indian, non- treaty commercial, and recreational fisheries. The measures are also intended to allow a portion of the salmon runs to escape the ocean fisheries in order to provide for spawning escapement and to provide for inside fisheries (fisheries occurring in state internal waters). This document also announces the availability of an environmental assessment (EA) analyzing the environmental impacts of implementing the 2012 ocean salmon management measures.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; 2012 Sector Operations Plans and Contracts, and Allocation of Northeast Multispecies Annual Catch Entitlements
This final rule partially approves, and implements, 19 Northeast (NE) multispecies (groundfish) sector operations plans and contracts for fishing year (FY) 2012, and allocates quotas of NE multispecies to the sectors. This final rule does not approve certain exemptions and measures proposed in the operations plans, as explained below. Approval of sector operations plans is necessary to allocate quota to the sectors and to grant the sectors regulatory exemptions. This provides vessels participating in sectors with increased operational flexibility while limiting overall fishing mortality. This final rule also announces a preliminary allocation to the New Hampshire State-Operated Permit Bank.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Framework Adjustment 47
NMFS approves Framework Adjustment 47 (Framework 47) to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and implements the approved measures. The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) developed and adopted Framework 47 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. This action also implements management measures and revises 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, and clarification of the regulations for charter/party and recreational groundfish vessels fishing in groundfish closed areas. This action is intended to prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best available scientific information at the time Framework 47 was submitted.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Planning, Protection or Restoration
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.