National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration December 3, 2014 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Revisions to Charter Halibut Fisheries Management in Alaska
NMFS proposes regulations that would revise Federal regulations regarding sport fishing guide services for Pacific halibut in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). The proposed regulations would remove the requirement that a guided sport (charter) vessel guide be on board the same vessel as a charter vessel angler to provide sport fishing guide services. This proposed rule would clarify that all sport fishing for halibut in which anglers receive assistance from a compensated guide would be managed under charter fishery regulations, and all harvest would accrue toward charter allocations. This proposed rule would align Federal regulations with State of Alaska regulations. Additional minor changes to the regulatory text pertaining to the charter halibut fishery would be required to maintain consistency in the regulations with these new definitions. This action is necessary to achieve the halibut fishery management goals of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Arctic Ringed Seal
We, NMFS, propose to designate critical habitat for the Arctic subspecies (Phoca hispida hispida) of the ringed seal (Phoca hispida) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We propose to designate one specific area of marine habitat in the northern Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. We are soliciting comments from the public on all aspects of the proposal, including our identification and consideration of the economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the proposed designation.