JPSS Polar Satellite-Gap Mitigation-Request for Public Comment
NOAA has long been concerned about the potential for a gap in polar satellite coverage in the afternoon orbit. In addition to reports from Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office on this topic, NOAA has also convened an Independent Review Team (IRT) to review the progress of our satellite programs and identify the challenges ahead. These reports have all substantiated NOAA's concerns regarding the gap. NOAA is taking positive steps to mitigate the negative impacts to NOAA's numerical weather forecasts that could be introduced by a lack of polar satellite data. To this end, NOAA has commissioned an investigative study to broadly explore all available options, such as substitute satellite observations, alternative non-satellite data, weather modeling, and data assimilation improvements. NOAA is convening teams of internal and external experts, industry leaders, foreign partners, and academia to study each of these areas. As a part of this effort, and to ensure we examine all potential solutions, NOAA is also seeking comments, suggestions, and innovative ideas from the public on how to preserve the quality and timeliness of NOAA's numerical weather forecasts should we experience a loss of polar satellite environmental data. Through this web portal, the public can submit ideas, review submissions from other parties, and make comments and collaborate on ideas.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Specifications and Management Measures
NMFS proposes 2013-2015 specifications and management measures for Atlantic mackerel, and 2013 specifications for butterfish. Specifications for longfin squid and Illex squid were set for 3 years in 2012 (2012-2014) and therefore will not be included in this year's specification rulemaking. The proposed specifications would make regulatory changes to the longfin squid fishery, as well as the butterfish mortality cap to avoid 1-2 week closures at the end of a Trimester. Compared to 2012, this proposed action would increase the butterfish quota by 236 percent (recommended 2013 quota of 2,570 mt), and increase the butterfish mortality cap by 184 percent (recommended 2013 quota of 4,500 mt). Due to the increase in the proposed butterfish quota, this action also proposes a variety of management measures for controlling effort in the directed butterfish fishery, including changes to trip limits, the closure threshold for the directed fishery, and post-closure trip limits. Finally, this rule proposes minor corrections to existing regulatory text, to clarify the intent of the regulations. These proposed specifications and management measures promote the utilization and conservation of the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish resource.