Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Fisheries Research
NMFS' Office of Protected Resources has received a request from the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to conducting fisheries research, over the course of five years from the date of issuance. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of SWFSC's request under section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. We invite information, suggestions, and comments on SWFSC's application and request.
Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Fisheries Research Conducted and Funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center
NMFS announces the availability of the ``Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (DPEA) for Fisheries Research Conducted and Funded by the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC).'' Publication of this notice begins the official public comment period for this DPEA. The purpose of the DPEA is to evaluate, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of conducting and funding fisheries and ecosystem research along the U.S. West Coast, throughout the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean, and in the Scotia Sea area off Antarctica.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Implementation of the Shark Conservation Act of 2010
NMFS proposes a rule to implement the provisions of the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 (SCA) and prohibit any person from removing any of the fins of a shark at sea, possessing shark fins on board a fishing vessel unless they are naturally attached to the corresponding carcass, transferring or receiving fins from one vessel to another at sea unless the fins are naturally attached to the corresponding carcass, landing shark fins unless they are naturally attached to the corresponding carcass, or landing shark carcasses without their fins naturally attached. NMFS proposes this action to amend existing regulations and make them consistent with the SCA.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; 2013 Sector Operations Plans and Contracts and Allocation of Northeast Multispecies Annual Catch Entitlements
We are partially approving 17 sector operations plans and contracts for fishing year (FY) 2013, providing allocations of Northeast (NE) multispecies to these sectors, and granting 23 regulatory exemptions. Approval of sector operations plans is necessary to allocate quotas to the sectors and for the sectors to operate. The NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) allows limited access permit holders to form sectors, and requires sectors to submit their operations plans and contracts to us, NMFS, for approval or disapproval. Approved sectors are exempt from certain effort control regulations and receive allocation of NE multispecies (groundfish) based on their members' fishing history. We are accepting additional public comment on the revised explanation of at-sea monitoring (ASM) coverage for FY 2013 for a 30-day period, and revisions to the exemption from the limits on the number of gillnets imposed on Day gillnet vessels for a 15-day period.