Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Closure of the 2012 Trimester 2 Directed Longfin Squid Fishery
NMFS announces that 90 percent of the Trimester 2 longfin squid (longfin) quota is projected to be harvested by 0001 hours, July 10, 2012. Therefore, the directed longfin fishery in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will be closed as of 0001 hours, July 10, 2012, and vessels issued a Federal permit are prohibited from possessing or landing more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of longfin for the remainder of Trimester 2 (through August 31, 2012). The directed longfin fishery will re-open for Trimester 3 on September 1, 2012. This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from exceeding its Trimester 2 allocation of 12,490,290 lb (5,666 mt), and to allow for effective management of this stock.
High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act; Identification and Certification Procedures To Address Shark Conservation
This proposed action sets forth identification and certification procedures established by the Shark Conservation Act to address shark conservation in areas beyond any national jurisdiction. The objectives of these procedures are to promote the conservation and sustainable management of sharks. Agency actions and recommendations under this rule will be in accordance with U.S. obligations under applicable international trade law, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement. This action would also amend the definition of illegal, unreported, or unregulated (IUU) fishing for purposes of the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 34
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 34 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 34 proposes to modify the income qualification requirements for the renewal of Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) commercial reef fish permits and revise the crew size regulations for dual-permitted vessels (i.e. vessels that possess both a charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish and a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish) while fishing commercially. The intent of Amendment 34 is to remove permit requirements that may no longer be applicable to current commercial fishing practices and to improve vessel safety in the Gulf reef fish fishery.
Endangered Species; File No. 16598
Notice is hereby given that Inwater Research Group, Inc. (Responsible Party and Principal Investigator: Michael Bresette), 4160 NE. Hyline Drive, Jensen Beach, FL 34957, has been issued a permit to take green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Ad Hoc Amendment 24 Workgroup will hold a work session, which is open to the public.
Fisheries of the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
The SEDAR Steering Committee will meet via conference call to discuss the SEDAR assessment schedule. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Caribbean Fishery Management Council's Administrative Committee will hold a meeting.
Coastal Programs Division
On February 29, 2012, NOAA published a notice and request for comments in the Federal Register at 77 FR 12245 on the request of Lockheed Martin Corp. to extend the deep seabed hard mineral exploration licenses USA-1 and USA-4 issued under the Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Resources Act (DSHMRA; 30 U.S.C. 1401-1473) and approve the amended exploration plan for those licenses. No comments were received objecting to the approval of the extension and amended exploration plan. Comments were received only from the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council (WPFMC) and the United States Department of State. The WPFMC noted that none of the fisheries under its jurisdiction were likely to be affected by any activities outlined in the extension request. The Department of State noted that international recognition of the areas covered by the licenses requires approval by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and that without accession of the United States to the Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention, the United States cannot sponsor a U.S. company at the ISA. The Department further noted that if the U.S. accedes to the LOS Convention that it would be necessary to make conforming changes to these exploration licenses. NOAA acknowledges and accepts the comments from WPFMC and the Department of State. Under its authority and in conformance with the requirements under DSHMRA and the DSHMRA regulations at 15 CFR part 970, NOAA approved the extension of both licenses for five years along with the amended exploration plan on June 1, 2012. No changes have been made to the terms, conditions or restrictions of the licenses.