National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration March 12, 2013 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Resources of the South Atlantic; Golden Tilefish Trip Limit Adjustments
On February 18, 2013, NMFS reduced the commercial trip limit for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) to 300 lb (136 kg) per trip because NMFS projected that 75 percent of the fishing year quota would be met on that day. Recent information indicates, however, that 75 percent of the fishing year quota has not been reached at this time. Therefore, through this temporary rule, NMFS reinstates the 4,000-lb (1,814-kg) commercial trip limit for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ from March 13, 2013, through March 21, 2013, when NMFS projects that 75 percent of the fishing year quota would be met. On March 22, 2013, the commercial trip limit for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ will go back to 300 lb (136 kg). These trip limit adjustments are necessary to achieve optimum yield and better manage the South Atlantic golden tilefish resource.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season apportionment of the 2013 Pacific cod total allowable catch allocated to trawl catcher vessels in the BSAI.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Trip Limit Reduction
NMFS reduces the trip limit in the hook-and-line component of the commercial sector for king mackerel in the southern Florida west coast subzone to 500 lb (227 kg) of king mackerel per day in or from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This trip limit reduction is necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.
Marine Mammals: Alaska Harbor Seal Habitats
NMFS is considering whether to propose regulations to protect glacially-associated harbor seal habitats in Alaska used for pupping, nursing, resting, and molting and limit vessel disturbance to harbor seals in those habitats. The scope of this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) encompasses the activities of any person or vessel that may diminish the value of glacial habitats for harbor seals, result in the unauthorized taking of harbor seals, or cause detrimental individual- or population-level impacts. NMFS requests information and comments on whether regulations are needed, and if so, what type of measures would be appropriate to protect harbor seals from the effects of vessel activity in glacial habitats. Any comments or information received in response to this ANPR will be considered prior to any proposed rulemaking.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Amendment 28
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper- Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 28 proposes actions to establish a process for determining whether the limited harvest and possession of red snapper in or from the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) could occur during a given fishing year. Amendment 28 specifies the process and formula for setting commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs) for red snapper if a limited fishing season may occur and specifies accountability measures (AMs). Amendment 28 also proposes during a limited fishing season to eliminate the current red snapper minimum size limit, establish a recreational bag limit and a commercial trip limit for red snapper, and establish a process for setting commercial and recreational fishing seasons for red snapper beginning in 2013. The intent of Amendment 28 is to continue the rebuilding of the red snapper stock and to provide socio-economic benefits to snapper-grouper fishermen and communities that utilize the red snapper resource.
Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops
Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in April, May, and June of 2013. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and to maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2013 and will be announced in a future notice.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Proposed 2013-2015 Spiny Dogfish Fishery Specifications
This rule proposes catch limits, commercial quotas, and possession limits for the spiny dogfish fishery for the 2013-2015 fishing years. The proposed action was developed by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils pursuant to the fishery specification requirements of the Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan. The proposed management measures are supported by the best available scientific information and reflect recent increases in spiny dogfish biomass. The proposed action is expected to result in positive economic impacts for the spiny dogfish fishery while maintaining the conservation objectives of the Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program
NMFS announces that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 42 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP) for review by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary). Amendment 42 would revise the annual economic data reports (EDRs) currently required of participants in the Crab Rationalization Program (CR Program) fisheries. The EDRs include cost, revenue, ownership, and employment data the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS use to study the economic impacts of the CR Program on harvesters, processors, and affected communities. Amendment 42 is necessary to eliminate redundant reporting requirements, standardize reporting across participants, and reduce costs associated with the data collection. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the B season allowance of the 2013 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 630 in the GOA.
Endangered Species; File No. 17316
Notice is hereby given that George Burgess, Ph.D., Florida Museum of Natural History, Dickinson Hall, University of Gainesville, Gainesville, FL 32611, has been issued a permit to take smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) for purposes of scientific research.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meetings
The SEDAR 31 assessment of the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper fishery will consist of a series of workshops and supplemental webinars. This notice is for a webinar in the Assessment Workshop portion of the SEDAR process. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting
The SEDAR 28 assessment of the Gulf of Mexico Spanish mackerel and cobia fisheries will consist of a series of workshops and supplemental webinars. This notice is for the Review Workshop portion of the SEDAR process. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a meeting of the Standing, Special Mackerel and Ecosystem Scientific and Statistical Committees.
Fisheries of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR): Public Meeting
The SEDAR assessment of the HMS stocks of Atlantic sharpnose and bonnethead sharks will consist of one in-person workshop and a series of webinars. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; American Fisheries Act (AFA): Permits
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.