Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Fishing Year 2012 Days-at-Sea Adjustment for Common Pool Fishery; Announcement of Fishing Year 2011 Sector Annual Catch Entitlement Carryover
NMFS adjusts the differential days-at-sea (DAS) rate for common pool vessels for fishing year (FY) 2012 due to overages of FY 2011 catch levels. This measure will help prevent FY 2012 catch levels from being exceeded. NMFS also announces the final amount of unused FY 2011 annual catch entitlement (ACE) carryover available to each sector in FY 2012.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 20A
NMFS issues this final rule to implement the management measures of 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). This final rule revises 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).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Monitoring and Enforcement Requirements in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Freezer Longline Fleet
NMFS issues regulations that modify equipment and operational requirements for freezer longliners (catcher/processors) named on License Limitation Program (LLP) licenses endorsed to catch and process Pacific cod at sea with hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). These regulations require vessel owners to select between two monitoring options: carry two observers so that all catch can be sampled, or carry one observer and use a motion-compensated scale to weigh Pacific cod before it is processed. The selected monitoring option is required to be used when the vessel is operating in either the BSAI or Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries when directed fishing for Pacific cod is open in the BSAI, or while the vessel is fishing for groundfish under the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. A vessel owner who notifies NMFS that the vessel will not be used to conduct directed fishing for Pacific cod in the BSAI or to conduct groundfish CDQ fishing at any time during a particular year will not be required to select one of the monitoring options and will continue to follow observer coverage and catch reporting requirements that apply to catcher/processors not subject to this action. These regulatory amendments address the need for enhanced catch accounting, monitoring, and enforcement created by the formation of a voluntary cooperative by the BSAI longline catcher/ processor subsector in 2010, and are necessary to improve the precision of the accounting for allocated quota species. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.