Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Delmarva Access Area
NMFS issues this temporary rule under its authority to implement emergency measures under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). This emergency rule closes the Delmarva Scallop Access Area (Delmarva) to all scallop vessels for the remainder of the 2012 scallop fishing year and reallocates unused 2012 limited access full-time vessel (FT) scallop Delmarva trips to the Closed Area I Access Area (CAI). Closing Delmarva will prevent high levels of fishing effort in this area, which could have reduced long-term scallop biomass and yield from Delmarva, and could have compromised the overall success of the scallop area rotational management program. This emergency action reallocates 2012 Delmarva trips to CAI to ensure equity in trip allocations and to minimize economic impacts of closing the Delmarva. The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended that NMFS take this action quickly in order to minimize any fishing effort in the Delmarva, and ensure the industry is aware of any allocation adjustments as soon as possible before CAI opens on June 15, 2012.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gray Triggerfish Management Measures
This final temporary rule, issued pursuant to NMFS' authority to issue interim rules under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), implements interim measures to reduce overfishing of gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf). This rule reduces the gray triggerfish commercial quota (commercial annual catch target (ACT)), commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs), and recreational ACT. Additionally, this final temporary rule revises the recreational accountability measures (AMs) for gray triggerfish. At its April meeting, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) requested NMFS promulgate interim measures to reduce overfishing of gray triggerfish. The rule will be effective for 180 days, unless superseded by subsequent rulemaking, although NMFS may extend the rule's effectiveness for an additional 186 days pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The intended effect of this final temporary rule is to reduce overfishing of the gray triggerfish resource in the Gulf while the Council develops permanent management measures.
Temporary Rule To Delay Start Date of 2012-2013 South Atlantic Black Sea Bass Commercial Fishing Season
NMFS issues this temporary rule to delay the start date of the 2012-2013 fishing season for the commercial black sea bass sector of the snapper-grouper fishery from June 1, 2012 to July 1, 2012 to allow for the implementation of the final rule for Amendment 18A to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 18A). The final rule for Amendment 18A modifies black sea bass accountability measures, establishes an endorsement program for black sea bass pot fishermen, modifies size limits for commercial and recreational black sea bass, and improves fisheries data collection in the for-hire sector of the snapper-grouper fishery. Amendment 18A also updates the black sea bass rebuilding plan and modifies the acceptable biological catch (ABC) for black sea bass. The intent of Amendment 18A is to reduce overcapacity in the black sea bass segment of the snapper-grouper fishery. The final rule implementing management measures in Amendment 18A is not expected to be effective until after June 1, the start of the black sea bass fishing season. Therefore, this temporary rule is necessary to delay the start of the commercial black sea bass season to allow NMFS to finalize rulemaking for Amendment 18A. The intent of this temporary rule is to reduce the rate of black sea bass harvest and help ensure black sea bass landings remain below the annual catch limit (ACL).
North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC); Public Meeting
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Steller Sea Lion Mitigation Committee (SSLMC) will meet via teleconference.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) will convene a conference call of its Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Subpanel (CPSAS) and Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team (CPSMT). A listening station will be available at the Pacific Council offices for interested members of the public.