Notice To Extend the Deadline for Applications for the Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB)
OAR publishes this notice to extend the deadline for persons with appropriate education, interest, and/or experience to submit applications to become a member of the OEAB. The purpose of the OEAB is to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on matters pertaining to ocean exploration including: The identification of priority areas that warrant exploration; the development and enhancement of technologies for exploring the oceans; managing the data and information; and disseminating the results. The OEAB will also provide advice on the relevance of the program with regard to the NOAA Strategic Plan, the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan, and other relevant guidance documents.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Biennial Specifications and Management Measures for the 2013 Tribal and Non-Tribal Fisheries for Pacific Whiting
NMFS issues this final rule for the 2013 Pacific whiting fishery under the authority of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and the Pacific Whiting Act of 2006. This final rule establishes the tribal allocation of 63,205 metric tons of Pacific whiting for 2013, and final allocations of Pacific whiting to the non-tribal fishery for 2013.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; 2013 and 2014 Atlantic Bluefish Specifications
NMFS issues final specifications for the 2013 and 2014 Atlantic bluefish fishery, including annual catch limits, total allowable landings, commercial quotas and recreational harvest limits, and a recreational possession limit. This action establishes the allowable 2013 and 2014 harvest levels and other management measures to achieve the target fishing mortality rate, consistent with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan and the recommendations of the Mid- Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Exempted Fishery for the Spiny Dogfish Fishery in the Waters East and West of Cape Cod, MA
This interim final rule modifies the regulations implementing the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) to allow vessels fishing with a NE Federal spiny dogfish permit to fish in an area east of Cape Cod, MA (Eastern Exemption Area) with gillnet and longline gear, from June through December and with handgear from June through August, and to fish in Cape Cod Bay (Western Exemption Area) with longline gear and handgear from June through August. This action allows vessels to harvest spiny dogfish in a manner that is consistent with the bycatch reduction objectives of the NE Multispecies FMP.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council); Public Meeting
The Council will hold public meetings in Narragansett, Rhode Island (RI) and Cape May, New Jersey (NJ) to get public input on potential changes to squid (longfin and Illex) assessment and management.
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Northwest Fisheries Science Center; Online Webinar
The Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) will hold an online Pre-Assessment Workshop webinar to provide an overview of the data sources, data trends and population models that will be used in the upcoming Pacific coast groundfish stock assessments for rougheye rockfish, aurora rockfish, shortspine thornyhead and longspine thornyhead. The online NWFSC Pre-Assessment Workshop webinar is open to the public, although space for online access is limited to the first 25 participants.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a webinar to discuss the potential reorganization of stock complexes.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Precision Strike Weapon and Air-to-Surface Gunnery Training and Testing Operations at Eglin Air Force Base, FL
NMFS has received an application from the U.S. Department of the Air Force, Headquarters 96th Air Base Wing (U.S. Air Force), Eglin Air Force Base (Eglin AFB) for authorization to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to testing and training activities associated with Precision Strike Weapon (PSW) and Air-to-Surface (AS) gunnery missions, both of which are military readiness activities, at Eglin AFB, FL from approximately June 2013, to June 2018. Pursuant to Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and its implementing regulations, NMFS proposes regulations to govern that take. In order to implement the final rule and issue a Letter of Authorization (LOA), NMFS must determine, among other things, that the total taking will have a negligible impact on the affected species and stocks of marine mammals and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species for subsistence use. NMFS' proposed regulations would set forth the permissible methods of take and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on the affected species or stocks of marine mammals and their habitat. NMFS invites comments on the application and the proposed regulations.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Reef Fish Management Measures
NMFS proposes regulations to implement management measures described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). If implemented, this rule would revise the vermilion snapper recreational bag limit, revise the yellowtail snapper stock annual catch limit (ACL), and remove the requirement for reef fish vessels to have onboard and use a venting tool. This proposed rule is intended to help achieve optimum yield (OY) and prevent overfishing of vermilion and yellowtail snappers, reduce the regulatory burden to fishers associated with venting reef fish, and minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality.
National Estuarine Research Reserve System
Notice is hereby given that the Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce is announcing a thirty day public comment period for the Grand Bay, Mississippi National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan and the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan revisions. Pursuant to 15 CFR Section 921.33(c), the revised plans will bring the reserves into compliance. The Grand Bay Reserve and Delaware Reserve revised plans will replace the plans approved in 1999 and 2004 respectively. Both revised management plans outline the administrative structure; the research & monitoring, education, training, and stewardship goals of the reserve; and the plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support reserve operations. The Grand Bay Reserve takes an integrated approach to management, linking research, education, training and stewardship functions to address high priority issues including climate change, threats to reserve resources and ecological functions, watershed development, and changes in water quality. Since the last management plan, the reserve has built out its core programs and monitoring infrastructure; constructed a L.E.E.D. certified Coastal Resources Center that includes laboratories, offices, classrooms, interpretative areas and dormitories; and created interpretive trails. With the approval of this management plan, the Grand Bay Reserve will decrease their total acreage from 18,400 acres to 18,049. The change is attributable to accuracy adjustments based on improved geographic information for the site. The revised management plan will serve as the guiding document for the 18,049 acre Grand Bay Reserve for the next five years. The Delaware management plan will focus on improving the scientific understanding of estuarine and coastal ecosystems; improving public awareness and environmental literacy to enable environmentally sustainable decision-making; and protecting, managing and restoring the reserve to serve as a model site for sustainable community stewardship. Notable changes in the revised plan include a boundary expansion, a new coastal training program, implementation of the Blackbird Creek Reserve Master Ecological Restoration Plan, the opening of the Blackbird Creek Stewardship Center and facility improvements to the St. Jones Coastal Training Center. With the approval of this management plan, the Delaware Reserve will increase their total acreage from 4,930 acres to 6,206. The change is attributable to acquisition of two parcels, totaling 64.3 acres, and increased mapping accuracy. The two parcels possess high ecological value and increased opportunities for research, education, and restoration. The revised management plan will serve as the guiding document for the 6,206 acre Delaware Reserve for the next five years. View the Grand Bay, Mississippi Reserve Management Plan revision at (http://grandbaynerr.org/reserve-management-plan) and provide comments to (firstname.lastname@example.org). View the Delaware Reserve Management Plan revision at (http://de.gov/dnerr) and provide comments to (Kimberly.Cole@state.de.us).