Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska and Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Observer Program
On April 18, 2012, we, NMFS, published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to restructure the funding and deployment system for observers in North Pacific groundfish and halibut fisheries via Amendment 86 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 76 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). The public comment period for the subject proposed rule closes on June 18, 2012. We will hold a public hearing in Seattle, WA, to receive oral and written comments on the proposed regulations during the public comment period.
Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports
As required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS has incorporated public comments into revisions of marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs). The 2011 reports are final and available to the public.
Marine Mammals; File No. 17086
Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Robin Baird, Ph.D., Cascadia Research, 218\1/2\ W. 4th Avenue, Olympia, WA 98501, to conduct research on marine mammals in the Atlantic Ocean.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Trawl Rationalization Program
This proposed action would delay or revise several portions of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Trawl Rationalization Program (program) regulations. These changes are necessary to enable the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to implement new regulations for the program to comply with a court order requiring NMFS to reconsider the initial allocation of Pacific whiting (whiting) to the shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) fishery and the at-sea mothership fishery. The proposed rule would affect the transfer of Quota Share (QS) and Incidental Bycatch Quota (IBQ) between QS accounts in the shorebased individual IFQ fishery, and severability in the mothership fishery, both of which would be delayed until NMFS can implement any necessary new regulations in those areas required by the court's order.
Notice of Intent To Terminate the Existing Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Prepare a New Environmental Impact Statement
We, NMFS, intend to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), related to the Makah Indian Tribe's (Tribe) request that we authorize treaty right hunting of eastern North Pacific gray whales in usual and accustomed fishing grounds off the coast of Washington State. This notice briefly describes the background of the Makah Tribe's request for waiver, terminates a prior draft EIS (DEIS), and identifies and requests comments on a set of new potential alternatives currently under consideration.
Marine Mammals; File No. 17157
Notice is hereby given that Stephen John Trumble, Ph.D., Baylor University, 101 Bagby Ave., Waco, TX 76706, has applied in due form for a permit to import, export, and receive marine mammal parts for scientific research.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meetings
The SEDAR assessment of the Gulf of Mexico stock of red snapper will consist of a series of three workshops: a Data Workshop, an Assessment Workshop, and a Review Workshop. This series of workshops will be referred to as SEDAR 31. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Subsistence Fishery for Pacific Halibut in Waters Off Alaska: Registration and Marking of Gear
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.
Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements
This rule revises the turtle excluder device (TED) requirements to allow the use of new materials and to modify existing approved TED designs. Specifically, this rule allows using flat bar, rectangular pipe, and oval pipe as construction material in currently- approved TED grids; using a brace bar on hard TEDs; increasing the maximum mesh size on escape flaps from 1\5/8\ to 2 inches (4.1 to 5.1 cm); including the Boone Big Boy TED for use in the shrimp fisheries; using three large TED and Boone Wedge Cut escape openings; and using the Chauvin shrimp deflector to improve shrimp retention. This rule also adds a TED for use in the summer flounder fishery. Additionally, the rule corrects the TED regulations to rectify an oversight regarding the maximum size chain that can be used on the Parker TED escape opening flap.