National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration September 23, 2014 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
NMFS announces that the 2014 summer flounder commercial quota allocated to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been harvested. Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in Massachusetts for the remainder of calendar year 2014, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer from another state. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise Massachusetts that the quota has been harvested and to advise vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders that no Federal commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in Massachusetts.
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 approves the Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan revision. The revised management plan outlines the administrative structure; the research, education, training, and stewardship goals of the reserve; and the plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support reserve operations. The Waquoit Bay Reserve Management Plan revision will replace the plan approved in 2006. The Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts National Estuarine Research Reserve takes an integrated approach to management, linking research, education, training, and stewardship functions to address high-priority issues, including the impact of climate change on estuarine ecosystems; connections between watershed land use and water quality; assessment of ecosystem response to natural variability and human impacts; and understanding and enhancing ecosystem services of coastal habitats. Since the last management plan, the reserve implemented its core programs, expanded its monitoring infrastructure to establish a groundwater monitoring program and a Salt Marsh Observatory; enhanced its facilities with energy efficiency installations, campus building improvements, and updated educational exhibits; and furthered land conservation in the reserve's watershed. This management plan includes a boundary expansion of 23 acres. The lands consist of the 11.4-acre Caleb Pond parcel on the northeast corner of Waquoit Bay as well as the addition of 12.4 acres to the Quashnet River lands. The Caleb Pond parcel is the largest single undeveloped parcel on Waquoit Bay and contains an upland coastal pine- oak forest habitat with fringing salt marsh and a connecting stream that contains diadromous fish runs of American eel and has historically supported an anadromous river herring run. The parcel is especially suitable for educational purposes and creates 40 acres of contiguous protected lands across the head of Waquoit Bay. The Quashnet River land parcel expands important contiguous and unfragmented habitat that is valuable as wildlife habitat and corridor, as well as increases protection of terrestrial, groundwater, and aquatic systems. This parcel is appropriate for education, recreation, and upland research purposes. The revised management plan will serve as the guiding document for the 2,804 acre Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for the next five years. The Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan revision can be viewed at https:// www.waquoitbayreserve.org/about/management-plan/. Comments can be provided to the reserve manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; 2014 Sub-Annual Catch Limit (ACL) Harvested for Management Area 3
NMFS is closing the directed herring fishery in management Area 3, because it projects that 92 percent of the 2014 catch limit for that area will have been caught by the effective date. This action is necessary to comply with the regulations implementing the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan and is intended to prevent excess harvest in Area 3.
Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Closure
Through this action NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific sardine off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. This action is necessary because the adjusted non-tribal directed harvest allocation of approximately 7,274 metric tons (mt) for the second harvest allocation period from September 15, 2014, through December 31, 2014, has been projected to have been reached. The allocation for the second period increased from the initial assigned allocation primarily as a result of the release to the non-treaty sector of 2,500 mt by the Quinault Indian Nation and the coastal treaty tribes from overall the treaty set-aside of 4,000 mt. From the effective date of this rule until December 31, 2014, Pacific sardine may be harvested only as part of either the live bait or tribal fishery or incidental to other fisheries; the incidental harvest of Pacific sardine is limited to 45-percent by weight of all fish per trip. Fishing vessels must cease fishing (be at shore and in the process of offloading) at or before the effective date of this closure.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 105
NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 105 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). Amendment 105 and its implementing regulations establish a process for Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) groups, and cooperatives established under the Amendment 80 Program (Amendment 80 cooperatives), to exchange harvest quota from one of three flatfish species (flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole) for an equal amount of another of these three flatfish species, while maintaining total catch below acceptable biological catch (ABC) limits. This final rule modifies the annual harvest specifications process to allow the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) to establish the maximum amount of flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole that may be exchanged based on social, economic, or biological considerations. This action is necessary to mitigate the operational variability, environmental conditions, and economic factors that may constrain the CDQ groups and Amendment 80 cooperatives from achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield in the BSAI groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the BSAI FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and other applicable law.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Alaska Chinook Salmon Economic Data Report (EDR)
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.