Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program Standard Ex-Vessel Prices
NMFS publishes standard ex-vessel prices for groundfish and halibut for the calculation of the observer fee under the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program (Observer Program). This notice is intended to provide information to vessel owners, processors, registered buyers, and other participants about the standard ex-vessel prices that will be used to calculate the observer fee liability for landings of groundfish and halibut made in 2014. NMFS will send invoices to processors and registered buyers subject to the fee by January 15, 2015. Fees are due to NMFS on or before February 15, 2015.
Endangered Fish and Wildlife; Final Rule To Remove the Sunset Provision of the Final Rule Implementing Vessel Speed Restrictions To Reduce the Threat of Ship Collisions With North Atlantic Right Whales
NMFS is eliminating the expiration date (or ``sunset clause'') contained in regulations requiring vessel speed restrictions to reduce the likelihood of lethal vessel collisions with North Atlantic right whales. The regulations restrict vessel speeds to no more than 10 knots for vessels 65 ft (19.8 m) or greater in overall length in certain locations and at certain times of the year along the east coast of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard. The purpose of the regulation is to reduce the likelihood of deaths and serious injuries to endangered North Atlantic right whales that result from collisions with ships. The speed regulations will expire December 9, 2013, unless the sunset clause is removed. With this final rule, NMFS is removing the rule's sunset provision. All other aspects of the rule remain in place until circumstances warrant further changes to the rule.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings and Hearings
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) has begun its annual preseason management process for the 2014 ocean salmon fisheries. This document announces the availability of Pacific Council documents as well as the dates and locations of Pacific Council meetings and public hearings comprising the Pacific Council's complete schedule of events for determining the annual proposed and final modifications to ocean salmon fishery management measures. The agendas for the March and April 2014 Pacific Council meetings will be published in subsequent Federal Register documents prior to the actual meetings.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Air Force Launches, Aircraft and Helicopter Operations, and Harbor Activities Related To Launch Vehicles From Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California
NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Air Force (USAF) for authorization to take marine mammals, specifically pinnipeds, by harassment, incidental to launches, aircraft and helicopter operations from VAFB launch complexes and Delta Mariner operations, cargo unloading activities, and harbor maintenance dredging in support of the Delta IV/Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) launch activity on south VAFB from February 2014 to February 2019. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue regulations and subsequent Letters of Authorization (LOAs) to the USAF to incidentally harass marine mammals.