Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council's (Council) will convene meetings of its Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands (CNMI) Archipelagic Advisory Panels (APs) and the Hawaii Regional Ecosystem Advisory Committee (REAC) (see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for specific times, dates, and agenda items).
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Horseshoe Crabs; Application for Exempted Fishing Permit, 2013
The Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, has made a preliminary determination that the subject exempted fishing permit (EFP) application submitted by Limuli Laboratories of Cape May Court House, NJ, contains all the required information and warrants further consideration. The proposed EFP would allow the harvest of up to 10,000 horseshoe crabs from the Carl N. Shuster Jr. Horseshoe Crab Reserve (Reserve) for biomedical purposes and require, as a condition of the EFP, the collection of data related to the status of horseshoe crabs within the reserve. The Deputy Director has also made a preliminary determination that the activities authorized under the EFP would be consistent with the goals and objectives of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (Commission) Horseshoe Crab Interstate Fisheries Management Plan (FMP). However, further review and consultation may be necessary before a final determination is made to issue the EFP. Therefore, NMFS announces that the Deputy Director proposes to recommend that an EFP be issued that would allow up to two commercial fishing vessels to conduct fishing operations that are otherwise restricted by the regulations promulgated under the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (Atlantic Coastal Act). The EFP would allow for an exemption from the Reserve. Regulations under the Atlantic Coastal Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed EFPs.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revise Maximum Retainable Amounts of Groundfish Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
NMFS issues a regulation to increase the maximum retainable amounts (MRAs) of groundfish using arrowtooth flounder (Atheresthes stomias) and Kamchatka flounder (Atheresthes evermanni) as basis species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action allows the use of BSAI arrowtooth flounder and Kamchatka flounder as basis species for the retention of species closed to directed fishing and is necessary to improve retention of otherwise marketable groundfish in these BSAI fisheries. This action also includes four regulatory amendments related to harvest management of Kamchatka flounder. Two amendments are necessary to account for Kamchatka flounder in the same manner as arrowtooth flounder in the BSAI and to aid in the recordkeeping, reporting, and catch accounting of flatfish in the BSAI. The third amendment is necessary to provide NMFS the flexibility to allocate Kamchatka flounder (and other species in the future) to the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program in the annual harvest specifications. Through this action, NMFS intends to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and other applicable law.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program
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; Alaska Plaice in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NMFS is prohibiting retention of Alaska plaice in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary because the 2013 initial total allowable catch (ITAC) of Alaska plaice in the BSAI has been reached.