National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration October 15, 2012 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Tilefish Fishery; 2013 Tilefish Fishing Quota Specification
Document Number: 2012-25285
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-10-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS announces that the overall annual tilefish quota for the 2013 fishing year (November 1, 2012-October 31, 2013) will remain the same as it was in fishing year 2012. NMFS is required to notify the public of the overall annual quota levels for tilefish if the previous year's quota specifications remain unchanged. This document also provides notice of tilefish specifications recently adopted by the Mid- Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2012 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Gag and South Atlantic Shallow-Water Grouper
Document Number: 2012-25262
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-10-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the commercial sector for gag in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. Commercial landings for gag, as estimated by the Science Research Director, are projected to reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) on October 20, 2012. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for gag and all other South Atlantic Shallow-Water Grouper (SASWG) on October 20, 2012 for the remainder of the 2012 fishing year, through December 31, 2012. Because there is a January through April seasonal closure for SASWG, SASWG will not reopen until May 1, 2013. In the South Atlantic, SASWG means gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, yellowmouth grouper, yellowfin grouper, graysby, and coney. This action is necessary to reduce overfishing of the South Atlantic gag and other SASWG resources.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Using Pot Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
Document Number: 2012-25260
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-10-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2012 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Evaluations of Coastal Zone Management Act Programs-State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves
Document Number: 2012-25226
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-10-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Modification Northeast Multispecies Amendment 16
Document Number: 2012-25224
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-10-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Groundfish Retention Standard
Document Number: 2012-25012
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-10-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes a regulatory amendment that would modify the groundfish retention standard (GRS) program in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area by removing certain regulatory requirements mandating minimum levels of groundfish retention and adding requirements for annual reports on groundfish retention performance. The GRS program was implemented to increase the retention and utilization of groundfish caught by trawl catcher/processor (C/P) vessels not listed in the American Fisheries Act (AFA), referred to as Amendment 80 vessels, and Amendment 80 cooperatives participating in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands groundfish fisheries. NMFS has discovered that the regulatory methodology used to calculate compliance with the GRS requires individual Amendment 80 vessels and Amendment 80 cooperatives to retain groundfish at minimum rates well above the minimum rates recommended by the Council or implemented by NMFS. As a result, the GRS is expected to impose significantly higher than predicted compliance costs on vessel owners and operators due to the increased level of retention needed to meet the minimum retention rates. Additionally, NMFS has discovered that enforcement of the GRS has proven far more complex, challenging, and potentially costly than anticipated by NMFS. This proposed rule would relieve non-AFA trawl C/ Ps and Amendment 80 cooperatives from undue compliance costs stemming from the mandatory GRS rates, but continue the GRS program goals of increased retention and utilization by establishing additional reporting requirements on groundfish retention performance together with current monitoring requirements for the Amendment 80 fleet. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the fishery management plan, and other applicable law.